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The Study of relationship among Body Image , sociocultural factors , and the weight-control behaviors in the female college students
The purpose of this study was to evaluate body image and weight-control behaviors status in the college female students. Also, we wanted to investigate the relationships among the individual attributes, sociocultural factors, body image, and weight-control behaviors.The study population was all female students in the Day Division of Yu Da College of Business in Miaoli. Subjects were obtained through stratified cluster random sampling, and 14 classes were enrolled. The study was documented with a self-questionnaire and collected with groups. There were 509 valid samples, and the successful rate was 80.8 %. The major findings were summarized as follows: 1. Whose who were higher negative appearance evaluation, higher body-area dissatisfaction, higher self-classified weight, higher consideration of overweight, and higher actual /ideal BMI values were classed as lower body image. The lower body image was associated with higher eating restrained behavior. Besides, sociocultural factors included mass media, the teasing, weight-control advice and social support from significant others (parents, female and male peers) showed significant correlations with dietary restraint behaviors. The respondents with self-classified overweight, or receiving more weight-control advices and supports from parents, had greater degree physical activity. 2. Some sociocultural factors were correlated with body image. The objects had more influence by media, more awareness of negative body figure evaluation, receiving more advices and supports of the weight-control from significant others, showed more dissatisfaction with body image. It was no significant correlation between the weight-control advice and support from male peers and the appearance evaluation. 3. Underweight individuals had higher body image evaluation, less influenced by media, and seldom restrained eating frequency than normal and overweight ones did. Individuals who spent shorter time and less frequency on watching TV evaluated themselves better on appearance, and had more physical activity volume. Individuals who more frequently read the magazines evaluated themselves better on appearance, were more influenced by mass media, and had more restrained eating frequency. 4. Path analyzes revealed our study design had higher explanation in dietary restraint (30.2%) than physical activity (10.3%). The most influential element in weight-control behaviors was“body image”. Individual attributes such as grade, actual BMI values, read the magazine frequency indirectly related to restrained eating behaviors through“overweight preoccupation” and“sociocultural factors”. Sociocultural factors indirectly related to physical activity through“self-classified weight” only.
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