Several sociocultural factors have been shown to impact body image. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether the sociocultural variable of religion, specifically represented by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (LDS) religion, affects body image in college-age students. Questionnaires assessing body image and beliefs about appearance were administered to male and female LDS and non-LDS students at Brigham Young University, University of Utah, Boston University, and California State University at Fullerton. Results indicated that male students, regardless of religion, were more satisfied with their bodies than their female counterparts. Within-gender comparisions inicated the LDS men had higher body satisfaction on all subscales than non-LDS men. In contrast, LDS women did not significantly differ from non-LDS women in mean level of body satisfaction. However, among LDS women, those in Utah differed from those in other states in appearance evaluation, overweight preoccupation, and beliefs about appearance. Regression analyses revealed that beliefs about apperance were a strong predictor of body image for both men and women, but that religion predicted body image only among men. Possible explanation and implications of these results are discussed.
Carroll, AnnMarie and Spangler, Diane L.
"A Comparison of Body Image Satisfaction among Latter-day Saint and Non-Latter-day Saint College-Age Students,"
Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy: Vol. 26
, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/irp/vol26/iss1/2