Date of Conferral
Dr. Harold Griffin
Obesity, a public health issue in the United States, has been linked to numerous chronic diseases. A gap exists in the literature related to racial and cultural etiology of body satisfaction for obese women. The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe the racial and cultural etiology of body satisfaction for obese Black women and White women residing in a rural area of the state of North Carolina. Social comparison theory provided the theoretical underpinning for this examination. The central research question was how do obese, young adult Black women and White women describe their perceptions about and experiences of the racial and cultural etiology of their body satisfaction. One-on-one interviews were used to collect data from 6 obese young adult women (3 Black women and 3 White women) between the ages of 18 and 29 years residing in a rural area of North Carolina. Braun and Clarke's 6-phase method for thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Six themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) Black participants viewed the media through a lens of body positivity, (b) White women related media influences as confrontation with the media, (c) Black
women related peer influences to include shaming and denial, (d) White women viewed peer influences as including negative comparisons and positive examples, (e) Black women related family influences to include normalizing obesity, and (f) White women
related family influences as including one welcoming the outcast. The results of the study foster positive social change, as deeper understanding of racial and cultural differences regarding body satisfaction of Black women and White women could lead to positive body image and greater body satisfaction among these groups.