Aging, Body image disturbance, Body image in women, Eating disorders, Feminist theory
The purpose of this study was to contribute to women’s healthy aging across the adult lifespan by empirically examining potential protective factors (e.g., empowerment and feminist attitudes) in maintaining positive body image, healthy eating behavior, and aging satisfaction. Objectification Theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997) provided a theoretical framework for understanding the connections between sexual-objectification experiences, media influences, and self-objectification, and the resulting negative psychological consequences for women in Western society. This study was the first to examine empowerment in relation to Objectification Theory. Additionally, a developmental perspective was gained by using a diverse sample of young, middle-aged, and older women in the investigation of the impact of self-objectification on aging satisfaction. Results indicated that women of all ages were just as likely to report either body image satisfaction or body image dissatisfaction after accounting for BMI. However, younger women were more likely than older women to view their bodies as objects. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) was performed utilizing Objectification Theory as a framework for predicting body image, eating behaviors, and aging satisfaction. Empowerment and feminist attitudes were not protective factors in promoting healthy eating behavior and positive thoughts related to body image and aging. The final structural model did, however, provide support for Objectification Theory and its proposed relationships between sexual-objectification experiences and the development of self-objectification and the negative consequences of self-objectification on a variety of health-related constructs. Long-term implications include incorporating this knowledge into empirically supported prevention and intervention programs aimed at reducing body image and eating disturbance and promoting healthy aging across the adult lifespan.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Grippo, Karen P., "Healthy Aging And Self-objectification The Impact Of Empowerment And Feminist Attitudes On Body Image, Eating Behavior, And Aging Satisfaction" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1933.