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Racial minority men and women face a wide variety of appearance-related pressures, including ones connected to their cultural backgrounds and phenotypic features associated with their identity. These body image concerns exist within a larger context, wherein racial minorities face pressures from multiple cultures or subcultures simultaneously to achieve unrealistic appearance ideals. However, limited research has investigated racial differences in the relationships between theorized sociocultural risk factors and body image in large samples. This study tests pathways from an integrated sociocultural model drawing on objectification theory and the tripartite influence model to three key body image outcomes: appearance evaluation, body image quality of life, and face image satisfaction. These pathways were tested using multigroup structural equation modeling in a national sample of White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian men and women (ns = 205–4797 per group). Although many hypothesized associations were similar in strength across groups, race moderated some of the pathways between sociocultural pressures (media, peer, family), internalization of appearance ideals (thin-ideal, muscular/athletic), appearance surveillance, and body image outcomes. Findings support the likely role of both shared and specific risk factors for body image outcomes, suggesting avenues for tailoring adapted interventions in order to target culturally-salient risk factors.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Body Image. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Body Image, volume 41, in 2022.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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