Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Rosalie Corona


The increasingly high rates of body dissatisfaction among adolescent girls are alarming. Research suggests that cultural norms emphasizing thinness and unrealistic standards of beauty may be contributing to this growing problem. This is concerning given the link between negative body image and a host of unhealthy behaviors in girls. Although historically African American adolescent girls have exhibited higher levels of body satisfaction than their counterparts, there is growing evidence to suggest that this may be changing because of the body-related messages they receive from their parents, peers and the media. The present study examines these messages from both maternal caregivers’ and girls’ perspectives. Additionally, the importance African American girls place on non-weight related aspects of their body (i.e., hair and skin color) and how these factors influence their body image perceptions are also examined. Limitations, strengths, prevention implications, and directions for future research are also discussed.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2012

Included in

Psychology Commons