Date of Conferral







Carolyn S. Sipes


AbstractThe current literature on self-esteem (SE), body dissatisfaction (BD) and internalized weight stigma (IWS) was limited, albeit evolving. The variables were well established across multiple domains of study: IWS was consistently noted to be a contributing factor for the development of obesity, but no studies explored the relationship between SE and BD on IWS. Therefore, the purpose of this correlational study was to explore the relationship between SE and BD and their effect on IWS in 30–44-year-old, obese, Hispanic women who are 20% more likely to be overweight or obese than non-Hispanic women. The study was guided by symbolic interactionism theory, which provided context for the interpretation of SE, BD, and IWS based on societal norms for weight and obesity. Data were collected through surveys of a sample of 87 participants. Participant data points were self-reported demographic information and the summed scores of Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale (RSE), Body Satisfaction Scale (BSS), and the Weight Self-Stigma Questionnaire. A multiple regression analysis revealed that as BD increased by one unit, BSS (β1 = .270), SE decreased by –.443. Conversely, as SE decreased by one unit, RSE (β2 = –.443) BD increased by .270. BD and SE are predictors of IWS, as evidenced by a significant inverse relationship. The ANOVA indicated significance with a p < .0.05, establishing that there was a relationship between BD and SE on IWS. The findings of this study can be used for positive social change by creating new knowledge to identify new correlates for IWS in diverse communities, to improve health outcomes for the population, inform public policy, and advocate for improved education on obesity in ethnic communities.

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