Date of Award

8-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Fischer, Ann

Abstract

U.S. sociocultural expectations regarding women's bodies have been linked with women's psychological distress. In an effort to reveal the transformative ways in which women may be subverting systems of oppression, the current study surrounds development and validation of a quantitative measurement tool centered on resistance to sociocultural beauty ideals and physical standards of appearance. Theoretical reviews, focus group interviews (n =33), and expert feedback formed the basis for item development and modification. An initial pilot sample (n = 169) offered data for initial examination of reliability, while a subsequent validation sample (n = 342) provided data for investigation of factor structure as well as evaluation of reliability and validity performance. A final 63-item Resistance to Sociocultural Appearance Standards (RSAS) Scale was developed. Exploratory factor analytic findings suggested a 3-factor solution represented the data well. Good reliability and mixed evidence for validity of the overall scale and individual subscales derived from the factor analysis were demonstrated. Strengths and limitations as well as directions for future research are discussed.

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