While the cross-cultural literature on body dissatisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women has continued to grow, the traditional Latino female gender role of marianismo, sociocultural factors related to ethnic culture and mainstream/American culture ideal perceived discrepancies in body size,…
While the cross-cultural literature on body dissatisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women has continued to grow, the traditional Latino female gender role of marianismo, sociocultural factors related to ethnic culture and mainstream/American culture ideal perceived discrepancies in body size, and one’s romantic relationship have not been explored with this population in relationship to body satisfaction. The current study included 227 female participants predominantly from a large southwestern university in the United States and a large university in northern Mexico. The study examined differences in marianismo and body satisfaction between 120 Mexican and 107 Mexican-American women, investigated the role of marianismo as a mediator between weight-related teasing and body satisfaction, and explored the relationship between marianismo, Partner Ideal Discrepancy, Ethnic Culture Ideal Discrepancy, Mainstream/American Culture Ideal Discrepancy, Perceived Weight-Related Criticism/Teasing, Relationship Support, Relationship Depth, and Relationship Conflict to overall body satisfaction. Results indicated Mexican-American women endorsed less overall body satisfaction than did their Mexican counterparts suggesting that Mexican American women may be more influenced by societal messages about thinness and beauty than are Mexican women. The findings also revealed a possible trend for marianismo as a mediator between weight-related criticism and body satisfaction. Marianismo and weight-related teasing were found to have a negative relationship with body satisfaction. Multiple regression analyses revealed that Partner Ideal and Mainstream/American Culture Ideal discrepancies accounted for significant variance in body satisfaction. Relationship Conflict accounted for a smaller but still significant amount of the variance in body satisfaction. Ethnic Culture Discrepancy, Relationship Support, and Relationship Depth were not significant predictors. These findings from this study suggest that both cultural variables and romantic relationship variables are related to the body image of Mexican American and Mexican women. These findings have important implications for the adaptation of current etiological models explaining body satisfaction among Mexican and Mexican-American women as well as highlighting the need to consider the role of both cultural and relationship variables in designing clinical interventions for Mexican American and Mexican women coping with body image concerns.