Sex Roles

, Volume 56, Issue 5–6, pp 373–380 | Cite as

Body Image: A Study in a Tri-Ethnic Sample of Low Income Women

  • Carmen Radecki BreitkopfEmail author
  • Heather Littleton
  • Abbey Berenson
Original Article


This study was designed to examine the evaluative, affective, and behavioral components of body image among 1,217 low-income European American, African American, and Latina women. Participants completed a multidimensional body image questionnaire while awaiting an outpatient clinic appointment. Body mass index (BMI) was determined by medical chart review. Nearly all normal weight and a number of overweight and obese African Americans characterized their weight as normal. In contrast, nearly all overweight and obese European Americans and Latinas regarded themselves as overweight as did over 30% of those of normal weight. European Americans and Latinas with higher BMIs reported more appearance shame than their lower BMI peers did; this pattern was not observed among African Americans. Among Latinas, body image was influenced by length of residency in the U.S.


Body image Body mass index Minority 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carmen Radecki Breitkopf
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Heather Littleton
    • 1
  • Abbey Berenson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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