Date of Award

8-1-2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Chwalisz, Kathleen

Abstract

This study explores how changes in skin tone surveillance predicted by: (a) skin tone satisfaction, (b) preference for lighter skin tone, (c) internalization of cultural standards of attractiveness, and (d) use of skin-lightening products among Asian Indian women. Exploratory analyses with demographic variables such as age, education, and marital status were also examined. Cross-cultural issues in conducting research with Asian Indian women using U.S. American standardized measures of skin tone related variables were explored. Participants were 169 Asian Indian women over the age of 18 from New Delhi, Mumbai, and other major cities in India and proficiency in English. The data were collected via an Internet-based survey with measures including the Skin Tone Specific Surveillance Subscale of the Objectification Body Consciousness Scale (OBCS, McKinley & Hyde, 1996); the Skin Color Satisfaction Scale (SCSS, Bond & Cash, 1992); Internalization subscale from the Sociocultural Attitudes towards Appearance Questionnaire -3 (SATAQ-3, Thompson, van den Berg, Gurada, & Heinberg, 2004), and a questionnaire about skin tone preference and use of skin lightening products (Hamed, Tayyem, Nimer, & Alkhatib, 2010). Results of the study indicate that an increase in skin tone surveillance was significantly predicted by decreasing skin tone satisfaction, increased preference for lighter skin tone, internalization of cultural standards of beauty and increased use of skin lightening products among the participants. Implications of this study include illuminating the role of skin tone related attitudes and beliefs among Asian Indian women in the persistence of objectification experiences among Asian Indian women to advance feminist scholarship on objectification.

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