Acculturation, out-group positivity and eating disorders symptoms among Emirati women
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Western acculturation has been implicated in the development of eating disorders among populations living outside Europe and North America. This study explored the relationship between Western acculturation, in-group/out-group evaluations and eating disorders symptoms among female citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Emirati college women (N = 209) completed an affective priming task, designed to implicitly assess in-group (Emirati) and out-group (American) evaluations. Participants also completed the Westernization Survey, a widely used self-report measure of acculturation, and the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26). Across the whole sample, out-group positivity was correlated with higher levels of eating disorder symptoms. Participants classified as at risk for eating disorders showed a clear out-group preference (out-group positivity greater than in-group positivity). Western acculturation was also positively correlated with eating disorder symptoms. Overall, these findings lend further support to the acculturation hypothesis of eating disorders in the context of Emirati college women.
KeywordsArab Affective prime Acculturation Eating disorders Identity
Compliance with ethical standards
This research has received no funding.
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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