Internalization of U.S. female beauty standards as a mediator of the relationship between Mexican American women's acculturation and body dissatisfaction

Elizabeth Poloskov, Terence Tracey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


The relationships among acculturation, internalization of U.S. sociocultural standards of female beauty, and body dissatisfaction were examined in a sample of 211 Mexican American college women. Structural equation modeling was used to identify the paths among these three factors. Results demonstrated that there are two distinct types of body dissatisfaction: global evaluations and composite site-specific evaluations. The relationships between acculturation toward dominant U.S. culture and both types of body dissatisfaction were found to be fully mediated by internalization of U.S. standards of female beauty. There were no relationships between Mexican orientation and any of the study variables. The results from this study imply that it is important for therapists working with Mexican American female clients to assess the client's level of acculturation, examine the cultural (U.S. and Mexican) messages the client receives, and explore how these messages impact her body image.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-508
Number of pages8
JournalBody Image
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013



  • Acculturation
  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Mexican American women
  • Thin-ideal internalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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