Jung_et_al-2006-Family_and_Consumer_Sciences_Research_Journal.pdf

Jung_et_al-2006-Family_and_Consumer_Sciences_Research_Journal.pdf

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10.1177/1077727X06286419 FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES RESEARCH JOURNAL Jung, Lee / BODY IMAGE & SELF-ESTEEM Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Appearance Self-Schema, Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Dieting Behavior Between Korean and U.S. Women Jaehee Jung University of Delaware Seung-Hee Lee Sungshin Women’s University This study conducted cross-cultural comparisons of appearance self-schema, body image, self-esteem, and dieting behavior between women from Korea and the United States. Participants were 201 undergraduates from a central university in Seoul, South Korea and 205 undergraduates from a mid-Atlantic university in the United States. They completed a questionnaire in their native language that included measures of appearance self-schema, body image, self-esteem, dieting behavior, and demographic information. Women in both cultural groups with high appearance self-schema were less satisfied with their overall bodies and revealed lower self-esteem than those with low appearance self-schema. Korean women placed greater importance on appearance, were more critical of their bodies, and revealed lower self-esteem than U.S. women. However, U.S. women showed higher scores on dieting behavior than Korean women. Implications are discussed in relation to the cultural concept (i.e., individualism ver- sus collectivism) and sociocultural factors such as media and gender roles. Keywords: body image; culture; appearance self-schema; self-esteem; dieting behavior Research on body image has been the focus of considerable attention, yet little research has been done among individuals of ethnic groups in the United States and even fewer studies have compared individuals of two or more cultures. Body image is defined as the mental image we hold of our bodies (Fallon, 1990), and it affects how we perceive and evaluate ourselves and others in social interactions. Com- pared with individuals who place low cognitive importance on appearance, those who place high cognitive importance on appearance often perceive a large discrep- ancy between their actual and ideal images and evaluate their bodies more nega- tively (Jung, Lennon, & Rudd, 2001). Body image is important because it affects a person’s self-esteem. As might be expected, a positive body image has been associ- ated with high self-esteem (Jackson, Sullivan, & Rostker, 1988). Individuals with a disturbed body image are more likely to engage in extreme, destructive behaviors such as eating disorders. Indeed, much research has found that negative body image is a strong predictor of eating disorders (e.g., Koenig & Wasserman, 1995). There seems to be an inaccurate perception that Asian women are naturally thin and thus do not have weight concerns. Weight concerns and eating disorders are typically thought of as culture-bound syndromes to which only Western or West- ernized women are vulnerable. However, many women in non-Western countries 350 Authors’ Note: This research was funded by the University of Delaware General University Research Grant.
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