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A mixed methods study investigating Black British women’s perceptions and attitudes of body image and body appreciation

Bhatti, S (2019). A mixed methods study investigating Black British women’s perceptions and attitudes of body image and body appreciation. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)

Abstract

Aims: This study aims to understand Black British women’s attitudes and perceptions of body image and body appreciation, along with testing two hypothesis; (1) Amongst Black British women, self-reported levels of multi-group ethnic identity (ethnic identity search and affirmation, belonging and commitment) will have a significant positive association with self-reported level of body appreciation. (2) Amongst Black British women, self-reported levels of self-esteem will have a significant positive association with self-reported level of body appreciation. Methods: A sequential mixed method was adopted, the first strand was an online questionnaire, 104 Black British women aged 19-57 completed, which measured the level of body appreciation, self-esteem, ethnic identity and self-reported body mass index (BMI). Data was analysed using correlational analysis and multiple regression. 5 Black British women who completed the first strand of the study participated in a focus group that took place on the premise of a University, and was audio recorded. The recording was transcribed and data was analysed employing thematic analysis. Results: A multiple regression analysis revealed that self-reported self-esteem were significant predictors of body appreciation in Black British women in this study. Higher self-reported levels of ethnic identity, in particular having pride and feeling committed to their ethnic group was associated with higher self-reported levels of body appreciation. BMI was found to not be significant to the level of body appreciation. Further analysis through the form of focus groups revealed 5 main themes that were developed: (1) Perspective – who is looking (2) Family it takes a village (3) Back to the homeland (4) food for thought (5) Mirror Mirror. Participants identified the social setting as important as to how they view their body which is described in the main theme ‘perspective – who is looking.’ Conclusions: The study can help inform measures on body appreciation and support psychological therapy for Black British women. As the findings indicate that BMI is not significant within this group, it seems imperative not to dismiss other factors that seem to define what body appreciation means to this research population. Measures for body appreciation within this demographic need to take into account ethnic identity and self-esteem and aim for a more global scale that has less focus on size and adopt more sociocultural factors.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2020 12:29
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/23922
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