Effects of witnessing fat talk on body satisfaction and psychological well-being: A cross-cultural comparison of Korea and the United States

Hye Eun Lee1, Emiko Taniguchi2, Alisa Modica3, Hyunjin Park4
1Department of Communicology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
2Department of Communication Studies, University of Texas at Austin, United States
3The Korean Language Flagship Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, United States
4School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Lee, H., Taniguchi, E., Modica, A., & Park, H. (2013). Effects of witnessing fat talk on body satisfaction and psychological well-being: A cross-cultural comparison of Korea and the United States. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 41, 1279-1296.

Volume 41 Issue 8 | e3178 | Published: September 2013 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2013.41.8.1279

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We examined how witnessing fat talk on Facebook influenced the body satisfaction and psychological well-being of Korean and U.S. young women. Korean (n = 137) and U.S. (n = 159) women completed an online questionnaire after viewing a randomly assigned mock-up Facebook page where body size of the profile owner and the messages from her peers were manipulated. Findings showed that (a) Koreans witnessing an underweight peer’s fat talk reported lower body satisfaction than did those witnessing an overweight peer’s fat talk, but the peer’s body size did not affect the U.S. women, and (b) Koreans witnessing messages discouraging weight loss reported greater psychological well-being than did those witnessing messages promoting weight loss, whereas peers’ comments did not influence the U.S. women.
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