Title

Racial Differences in Associations Among Discriminatory Experiences, Body Dissatisfaction, and Eating Disorder Behaviors Between Young Women Who Identify as Black and White

Description/Abstract/Artist Statement

Disordered eating behaviors (DEBs; e.g., binge eating, purging, restricting, excessive exercise, maladaptive muscle building behaviors) are linked to physical and mental health concerns. Although experiences of discrimination have been associated with significant negative psychological effects in general, research examining the connection between discriminatory experiences and DEBs has generally been limited to discrimination based on race or gender alone, rather than the intersection of these social identities. The present study addresses these research gaps by examining differences in associations between women’s experiences with different types of discrimination (e.g., gender-based, race-based) and DEBs as a function of women’s racial identities. Young women who identified as Black (n=358) and White (n=377) completed an online survey of discriminatory experiences (based on gender, race, physical appearance, and “other” cultural identities), body dissatisfaction, and DEBs. Multigroup path analysis was used to determine whether associations among different discriminatory experiences, body dissatisfaction, and DEBs differed between women who identified as Black and White. Among all participants, discriminatory experiences based on gender, race, physical appearance, and “other” cultural identities were associated with greater body dissatisfaction and, in turn, greater engagement in all five DEB outcomes (binge eating, purging, restricting, excessive exercise, maladaptive muscle building behaviors). These patterns of association differed between women who identified as Black and White. For example, gender-based discrimination was associated with greater body dissatisfaction among women who identified as Black, but not White. Overall, the present results suggest that race differences exist in associations among discriminatory experiences, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating which highlights the importance of considering discriminatory experiences from an intersectionality framework.

Presenting Author Name/s

Cherita Washington

Faculty Advisor/Mentor

Kristin Heron

College Affiliation

College of Sciences

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Health Psychology | Social Psychology

Session Title

Interdisciplinary Research #3

Location

Zoom Room T

Start Date

3-20-2021 12:00 PM

End Date

3-20-2021 12:55 PM

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Mar 20th, 12:00 PM Mar 20th, 12:55 PM

Racial Differences in Associations Among Discriminatory Experiences, Body Dissatisfaction, and Eating Disorder Behaviors Between Young Women Who Identify as Black and White

Zoom Room T

Disordered eating behaviors (DEBs; e.g., binge eating, purging, restricting, excessive exercise, maladaptive muscle building behaviors) are linked to physical and mental health concerns. Although experiences of discrimination have been associated with significant negative psychological effects in general, research examining the connection between discriminatory experiences and DEBs has generally been limited to discrimination based on race or gender alone, rather than the intersection of these social identities. The present study addresses these research gaps by examining differences in associations between women’s experiences with different types of discrimination (e.g., gender-based, race-based) and DEBs as a function of women’s racial identities. Young women who identified as Black (n=358) and White (n=377) completed an online survey of discriminatory experiences (based on gender, race, physical appearance, and “other” cultural identities), body dissatisfaction, and DEBs. Multigroup path analysis was used to determine whether associations among different discriminatory experiences, body dissatisfaction, and DEBs differed between women who identified as Black and White. Among all participants, discriminatory experiences based on gender, race, physical appearance, and “other” cultural identities were associated with greater body dissatisfaction and, in turn, greater engagement in all five DEB outcomes (binge eating, purging, restricting, excessive exercise, maladaptive muscle building behaviors). These patterns of association differed between women who identified as Black and White. For example, gender-based discrimination was associated with greater body dissatisfaction among women who identified as Black, but not White. Overall, the present results suggest that race differences exist in associations among discriminatory experiences, body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating which highlights the importance of considering discriminatory experiences from an intersectionality framework.