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Looking Good: Acculturation as a Protective Factor in the Relationship between Adolescent Body Image and Substance Abuse

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Abstract:

Using a sample of predominately Mexican American middle school students (N=1,343), we explored the impact of body image, as measured by perceptions of weight and appearance, on adolescent drug use and attitudes – in particular, lifetime and recent alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use and anti-drug norms. Disliking one's looks was more of a risk factor for boys whereas negative weight perceptions were more of a risk factor for girls. Relative to more acculturated (English-dominant) Latinos, non-Latino Whites and other non-Latino youth, less acculturated (Spanish-dominant) Latino youth reported the poorest body image. However, more acculturated Latino youth with poor body image had the greatest risk of substance use. More acculturated Latino boys who disliked their looks reported relatively greater amounts of recent alcohol use, and those who rated their bodies as too thin reported higher lifetime cigarette use, a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use, and weaker anti-drug norms. More acculturated Latina girls who thought they were too fat reported a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use. This research suggests a protective effect of lower levels of acculturation for Latino youth with poor body image: relatively low acculturation may prevent these youth from coping via substance use. Furthermore, these findings suggest that attitudes and behaviors that devalue the characteristics of Latino appearance, rather than an adoption of American thinness ideals, may be a greater source of poor body image for some Latinos.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

use (142), bodi (136), imag (106), accultur (77), latino (77), substanc (63), boy (59), girl (57), drug (52), may (51), adolesc (44), cigarett (44), report (43), look (40), effect (39), student (38), less (36), group (35), alcohol (35), norm (35), eat (34),

Author's Keywords:

body image, acculturation, substance use, Mexican American youth
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Name: American Sociological Association
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MLA Citation:

Nieri, Tanya., Kulis, Stephen. and Keith, Verna. "Looking Good: Acculturation as a Protective Factor in the Relationship between Adolescent Body Image and Substance Abuse" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA,, Aug 14, 2004 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p108949_index.html>

APA Citation:

Nieri, T. A., Kulis, S. S. and Keith, V. M. , 2004-08-14 "Looking Good: Acculturation as a Protective Factor in the Relationship between Adolescent Body Image and Substance Abuse" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Hilton San Francisco & Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel, San Francisco, CA, Online <.PDF>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p108949_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Using a sample of predominately Mexican American middle school students (N=1,343), we explored the impact of body image, as measured by perceptions of weight and appearance, on adolescent drug use and attitudes – in particular, lifetime and recent alcohol, cigarette, and marijuana use and anti-drug norms. Disliking one's looks was more of a risk factor for boys whereas negative weight perceptions were more of a risk factor for girls. Relative to more acculturated (English-dominant) Latinos, non-Latino Whites and other non-Latino youth, less acculturated (Spanish-dominant) Latino youth reported the poorest body image. However, more acculturated Latino youth with poor body image had the greatest risk of substance use. More acculturated Latino boys who disliked their looks reported relatively greater amounts of recent alcohol use, and those who rated their bodies as too thin reported higher lifetime cigarette use, a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use, and weaker anti-drug norms. More acculturated Latina girls who thought they were too fat reported a greater amount and frequency of recent cigarette use. This research suggests a protective effect of lower levels of acculturation for Latino youth with poor body image: relatively low acculturation may prevent these youth from coping via substance use. Furthermore, these findings suggest that attitudes and behaviors that devalue the characteristics of Latino appearance, rather than an adoption of American thinness ideals, may be a greater source of poor body image for some Latinos.

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Document Type: .PDF
Page count: 30
Word count: 7430
Text sample:
LOOKING GOOD: ACCULTURATION AS A PROTECTIVE FACTOR IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADOLESCENT BODY IMAGE AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE Tanya Nieri* Stephen Kulis Verna M. Keith Arizona State University Submitted for presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association AUTHOR’S NOTE: This research was supported by National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse grants funding the Drug Resistance Strategies Project (5 R01 DA05629- 07) and the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Consortium (SIRC) at Arizona State University (R24 DA13937-01). *Inquiries
0.218 0.495 -0.033 0.006 0.000 ug norms 1290 0.007 0.936 -0.003 -0.036 0.017 culturated Latino 1343 0.157 0.364 cculturated Latino 1343 0.672 0.470 atino White 1343 0.088 0.283 non-Latino 1343 0.083 0.275 years 1343 4.464 0.556 -0.042 -0.041 -0.024 Grades 1325 3.579 1.752 0.080** 0.057* -0.022 educed lunch participation 1343 0.900 0.302 (1=male 0=female) 1343 0.520 0.500 *p<0.05 **p<0.01 ***p<0.001


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