The impact of racial stereotypes on eating disorder recognition

Kathryn H. Gordon, Marisol Perez La Mar, Thomas E. Joiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Eating disorders are commonly believed to affect Caucasian women more so than other women. The authors examined whether participants recognize disturbed eating symptoms to a lesser degree in an African American or Hispanic female compared with a Caucasian female. Method: A sample of 160 undergraduate students of different ethnic backgrounds read a passage about an adolescent girl who displayed eating disorder symptoms. Participants received one of three passages; the passages differed only regarding the girl's race (African American, Caucasian, or Hispanic). Participants completed questionnaires used to reveal possible racial stereotypes about eating disorders. Results: The study found that the race of the adolescent girl had a significant impact on detection of disturbed eating patterns, such that participants recognized the eating disorder more when they read about a Caucasian girl than when they read about a minority girl (Hispanic or African American). Discussion: The results have implications for public awareness of eating disorders, as well as clinical implications for work with eating disorder patients from various ethnic backgrounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-224
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

stereotyped behavior
eating disorders
African Americans
Hispanic Americans
signs and symptoms (animals and humans)
Eating
college students
eating habits
Feeding and Eating Disorders
questionnaires
ingestion
Students

Keywords

  • Eating disorder recognition
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Racial stereotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Food Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

The impact of racial stereotypes on eating disorder recognition. / Gordon, Kathryn H.; Perez La Mar, Marisol; Joiner, Thomas E.

In: International Journal of Eating Disorders, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2002, p. 219-224.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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