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Body Image Attitudes amongst Māori and Pakeha Females

Research has shown that body image plays a principle role in predicting the occurrence and extent of eating disordered symptomatology. The term 'body image' has multiple definitions but is most commonly used to refer to self-perceptions of body weight and shape. Evidence shows that Western socio-cultural beliefs encourage females to strive for an extremely thin, unrealistically small figure. The difficulties obtaining this thin-ideal have lead to the development of body image dissatisfaction (BID). Because the thin-ideal is a Western construct, BID was thought to effect only Western, White women, however, research shows that body image concerns and consequently eating pathology are appearing in non-Western, ethnic minority groups where they were once unknown. This has been attributed to increasing contact between ethnic minority groups and Western cultural mores. This would suggest that the degree of attachment a minority individual feels towards their ethnic identity is likely to moderate the development of BID and thus eating concerns. This thesis compared levels of body image dissatisfaction amongst ethnic groups in New Zealand, focussing particularly on Māori and Pakeha. No differences were found to exist amongst these groups with regards to body image dissatisfaction and eating pathology regardless of ethnic attachment. The information found has consequences for clinicians working with clients of Māori extraction and those researching body image dissatisfaction in New Zealand.
Type of thesis
Ngamanu, R. E. (2006). Body Image Attitudes amongst Māori and Pakeha Females (Thesis, Master of Social Sciences (MSocSc)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2459
The University of Waikato
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