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An examination of attitudes and stigma in the context of weight acceptance

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Item Summary

Title: An examination of attitudes and stigma in the context of weight acceptance
Authors: Murakami, Jessica Michie
Keywords: weight acceptance
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: Given the difficulty of achieving and sustaining weight loss, stigma reduction through acceptance may be a more realistic method of improving psychological wellbeing related to weight. However, due to the pervasiveness of fat stigma, the relationship between body acceptance and obesity stigma must be considered.
This study aims to examine attitudes expressed toward normal weight versus obese individuals who either accept or do not accept their weight. In Study 1, 393 participants were randomly assigned to read one of four vignettes about a female target who is obese and accepting of her weight, obese and non-accepting of her weight, normal weight and accepting, or normal weight and non-accepting. These vignettes were accompanied by a computer-generated image of the target. Participants responded to a series of self-report measures of general bias against the target, medical insurance-based bias against the target, perceptions of the target's self-esteem, perceptions of psychopathology experienced by the target, anti-fat attitudes, and weight bias internalization.
In Study 2, 394 participants were randomly assigned to the same vignette conditions without the target images. Participants then responded to the same measures as in Study 1 as well as two additional measures of bias against the target. In both studies, the relationship between the dependent variables and the factors of target weight and acceptance were analyzed with MANOVAs followed by 2x2 ANOVAs for overall samples as well as with the samples split by gender. Most results from Study 1 were replicated in Study 2. In both studies, main effects for weight and acceptance on some measures of stigma were observed. However, no interactions between weight and acceptance on measures of stigma emerged. Additional measures revealed that target weight and acceptance also play a role in the perceptions of target self-esteem and psychopathology. As the findings indicate that weight acceptance leads to less stigma and does not interact with weight to increase stigma, these studies provide promising support for weight acceptance as a public health model.
Description: M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:M.A. - Psychology

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