Positive body image: inter-ethnic and rural-urban differences among an indigenous sample from Malaysian Borneo

Swami, Viren and Kannan, Kumaraswami and Furnham, Adrian (2012) Positive body image: inter-ethnic and rural-urban differences among an indigenous sample from Malaysian Borneo. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 58 (6). pp. 568-576. ISSN 0020-7640

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0020764011415208


Background: Previous studies examining body image from a cross-cultural perspective have tended to neglect samples from different ethnic groups or along a rural-urban continuum. To overcome this limitation, the present study examined positive body image among rural and urban women from three major indigenous ethnic groups in Sabah, Malaysia. Method: A total of 202 women completed the Body Appreciation Scale, as well as measures of media exposure and financial security, and provided their demographic details. Results: Results showed that there were significant rural-urban differences in body appreciation, with rural participants having significantly higher body appreciation than urban participants. A comparison with a previous data set of West Malaysian women (Swami & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2008) showed that the current urban sample had significantly lower body appreciation and that the rural group had significantly higher body appreciation. Further results showed that research site (urban vs rural) explained 11.0% of the variance in body appreciation. Participant body mass index and exposure to western forms of media explained an additional 2.0% of the variance. Conclusion: These results suggest that there are differences in body image between rural and urban women. Results are discussed in relation to the promotion of positive body image, particularly in developing societies where health care resources may be limited.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:9620
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 09:39
Last Modified:13 Feb 2013 10:01

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