Date of Conferral
Although Filipinos are becoming one of the largest Asian groups in the U.S there is limited research regarding mental health challenges Filipino women experience specifically regarding body satisfaction and self-image. The goal of this explorative qualitative study was to explore the relationship between objectified images of women in the media and the reported levels of body dissatisfaction in a sample of 8 American-born Filipino women and 8 Philippine-born Filipino women. Objectification theory was used to guide this research and levels of sociocultural influences, body satisfaction, and body consciousness were explored through a qualitative research design using statements from the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3, the Body-Esteem Scale for Adolescents and Adults, and the Objectified Body Consciousness Scale. Participants were interviewed individually and the data were coded in order to determine patterns and themes. Results revealed that the Philippine-born participants relied more on images in the media than the American-born participants of the study in relation to what is attractive and fashionable. However as a whole, the data found that the majority of the participating women felt comfortable with their bodies and physical appearance. The results of this study could help create greater awareness of the issues that Filipino American women deal with in relation to their bodies and self-image through the development of initiatives to treat Filipino American women who may be suffering from mental health issues due to objectification as culturally Filipinos typically do not seek psychological intervention. If programs could be designed specifically for Filipinos targeting issues with body satisfaction, fewer Filipinos may be affected by poor body-image.