Current or Recent Research Projects
The South Asian Study
This study will contribute to a growing, though currently limited, body of research examining body image and disordered eating in South Asian populations. We have the following aims: (1) Collect data on an array of body image and disordered eating variables in a diverse (age, gender identity) sample of South Asian descent; (2) Examine whether correlates of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating with support in the literature (albeit in primarily White samples) are relevant to South Asians (e.g., perfectionism, thin-ideal internalization); (3) Explore potential correlates of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating that may be more specifically relevant to South Asians (e.g., appearance pressure from “aunties,” acculturative stress, colorism); and (4) Consider potential moderator models, both those that may confer additional risk (e.g., perfectionism and appearance pressures interacting to increase risk for body dissatisfaction and disordered eating) and those that may be protective (e.g., ethnic identity or self-esteem acting as a buffer of the relationship between acculturative stress and disordered eating).
The Implicit Weight Bias in Diverse Samples Study
We seek to examine implicit attitudes toward weight among a racially/ethnically diverse group of women to answer the following questions: (1) Are there racial/ethnic differences in implicit bias favoring thin images? Does this depend on the race/ethnicity of the prime? (2) Among women of color, does strong ethnic identity reduce implicit bias favoring thinness? (3) How do implicit attitudes relate to explicit attitudes about weight/size, body image, and disordered eating across racially/ethnically diverse women? Study participants represent the following racial/ethnic identities: Black/African American, Asian/Asian American, Latina, and non-Latina White.
The Road to Recovery from Eating Disorders (RRED) Study
The RRED Study is a NIMH-funded study aimed at defining recovery from eating disorders and examining change and stability across time in a range of factors. We seek to answer questions such as: What can recovery look like? What do different stages along the path from an eating disorder look like? What is associated with moving down the road to recovery from an eating disorder?
The Generations Study
The Generations Study aims to identify shared and unique correlates of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among three generations of women: young adult women, their mothers, and their maternal grandmothers. We will also be examining moderators that may exacerbate or buffer the effects of body dissatisfaction on disordered eating.
Ale’s dissertation will evaluate general and sport-specific risk factors related to eating disorders among female athletes who participate in aesthetic sports by using two research methodologies: a cross-sectional survey (Study 1) and an experimental paradigm (Study 2). Study 1 will investigate appearance pressures, social media use, appearance comparison, and athletic identity, and their correlations with eating disorder symptoms and negative affect. Study 2 will investigate the influence of social media on body dissatisfaction and negative affect. We will also explore potential moderators of these relationships.
Emily’s dissertation will explore relationships between body dissatisfaction and sexual experiences, with emphasis on how these relationships may be situated within and influenced by structures of identity-based power/oppression. She will be collecting data from a national sample of adults of diverse gender, racial, ethnic, and sexual orientation identities. This project will employ both qualitative (long-answer and interview questions) and quantitative (self-report measures) methodological approaches and has theoretical foundations in critical race and feminist theory. Results from this project will be used to consider the development of inclusive, identity-sensitive, sex-focused therapeutic interventions for body dissatisfaction.