Sex Roles

, Volume 38, Issue 7–8, pp 655–673 | Cite as

Breast Size Perception and Satisfaction, Body Image, and Psychological Functioning in Caucasian and Asian American College Women

  • Elissa Koff
  • Amy Benavage
Article

Abstract

Perceived breast size, breast size satisfaction,body image (body satisfaction and generalized appearancesatisfaction) and psychological functioning(self-esteem, self-consciousness, and generalizedappearance preoccupation), as well as stereotyping ofbreast size, were examined in 166 Caucasian and AsianAmerican college women. Caucasian women reportedslightly larger perceived and ideal breast sizes, but no significant group differences for any of theother variables were found; groups were combined forsubsequent analyses. Both large and small breastednesswere associated with lower breast size satisfaction. Hierarchical regression analyses, controllingfor body size (assessed indirectly by a weightpreoccupation measure) and including the interaction ofperceived breast size and breast size satisfaction,yielded main effects for weight preoccupation,perceived breast size, and satisfaction with breastsize, but no interactions. Over and above the effect ofweight preoccupation, smaller perceived breast size was associated with lower breast size satisfactionand with more positive body image, while larger size wasassociated with higher breast size satisfaction and withless positive body image. Lower self-esteem was associated with lower breast sizesatisfaction but not with perceived breast size, whilehigher public self-consciousness, social anxiety, andappearance preoccupation were associated with a mismatch between ideal and perceived size, regardless ofwhether ideal size was smaller or larger than perceivedsize. Implications of these findings are discussedwithin the broader cultural context.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elissa Koff
  • Amy Benavage

There are no affiliations available

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