, Volume 55, Issue 1-2, pp 25-37
Date: 09 Nov 2006

Gender Role Development and Body Image among Male and Female First Year College Students

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In the current study we examined associations between gender role development and body image. Male and female first-semester college students (N = 434) who identified as African American, Latino/a American, and European American completed surveys about gendered personality traits (instrumentality/expressivity), gender role attitudes, and aspects of body image (e.g., satisfaction, orientation). Gendered traits were more frequently associated with body image than were gender role attitudes. In particular, individuals who were more instrumental and less inauthentic in their relationships felt more positive about their bodies. Gender role attitudes were also associated with body image, but sometimes in an unexpected direction. These findings highlight the importance of examining multiple components of gender role development and body image in both men and women.

An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2004 Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Baltimore, MD. This research was supported by grant R01 HD 41720 from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to Eva S. Lefkowitz.