Family nurturance and the development of obsession with body image and weight
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between family nurturance and the obsession with body image and weight in females enrolled in some form of secondary education in Wisconsin or Alabama. Thirty females, ages twenty-one to fifty-five, participated voluntarily in the study by completing two versions of the Parental Nurturance Scale, one to reflect their relationship with their mother and one to reflect their relationship with their father. The PNS is a twenty-four-item survey that evokes information about the amount of nurturance the participant felt from her mother/father. Participants also completed the Concern Over Body Weight and Dieting Scale. This fourteen-item questionnaire examines how often the subject thinks about their body in a negative fashion. The COWD has within it three sub-scales: Avoidance of Food, Guilt Over Eating, and Attempts at Weight Loss. The results were then correlated in the following manner: each question on the PNS to the COWD as a whole and each question on the PNS to each of the sub-scales on the COWD. Overall, the participants demonstrated negative correlations when comparing their scores on the PNS to their scores on the COWD. In other words, the more nurturance they were shown by their parents, the fewer problems they experienced with their eating patterns. The analyses revealed that a woman tends to feel better about her body as a whole and is less likely to avoid food if she feels nurtured by her father. On the other hand, women tend to feel less guilt about eating and attempt to lose weight fewer times if they feel nurtured by their mother.