Author ORCID Identifier

0000-0001-6978-4788

Defense Date

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Suzanne Mazzeo, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Robin Everhart, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jacqueline Corcoran, Ph.D.

Abstract

Weight stigma is associated with negative health outcomes across the BMI continuum. However, few studies have examined weight discrimination targeting people with low body weights. This investigation explored the presence of anti-thin bias, defined as the belief that people with low BMIs have undesirable personality characteristics. Participants were randomly assigned to read one of six vignettes about women that differed by race (White and Black) and weight status (slightly underweight, normal weight, and slightly overweight). Negative personality characteristics were more likely to be ascribed to both underweight and overweight women, compared with normal weight women. Furthermore, participants were significantly more likely to attribute underweight women’s body weight to biological factors. Results indicate that underweight women might be more stigmatized for their body weight than normal weight women. Weight bias literature should continue to research the impact of weight discrimination for individuals across the BMI spectrum.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

4-18-2018

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