Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisorTreharne, Gareth J
dc.contributor.authorPoulter, Phoebe Isabel
dc.date.available2017-10-18T19:53:41Z
dc.date.copyright2017
dc.identifier.citationPoulter, P. I. (2017). ‘I’m actually pretty happy with how I am’: A Focus Group Study of Young Women with Positive Body Image (Thesis, Master of Science). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/7608en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/7608
dc.description.abstractPrevious qualitative and quantitative research on the body image of young women in Western cultures has predominantly focussed on the negative dimensions of women’s body image. This pathology-driven approach has contributed to an understanding of body dissatisfaction, but has not considered what contributes to the development and experience of positive body image for young women. In the present study, I aimed to contribute to psychological understanding of positive body image in young women at university using a mixed-methods approach. In the first part of the study, a sample of 139 young women aged between 18 and 25 years completed a series of questionnaires, including a demographic questionnaire, several measures of positive body image, and a measure evaluating the extent to which the young women were aware of, and had internalised, sociocultural messages about women’s bodies. Within the demographic questionnaire, participants were asked to provide a rating of agreement with the statement “I have a positive body image” on a scale from 1 (completely disagree) to 5 (completely agree). Young women who explicitly reported having a positive body image (providing a rating of 4 or more) were invited to participate in a focus group (N = 44, 32% of the initial sample). A total of 19 young women participated in one of five focus group discussions, in which they were asked about their experiences and thoughts about having a positive body image. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed, and underwent inductive thematic analysis. From the analysis, I identified four themes conveyed by women discussing their views about positive body image. The first theme is labelled ‘Body Image as Changing’ and highlights the way in which participants described their body image as becoming more positive as they grow older, and consists of two subthemes: ‘Aging and Caring Less about the Body’ and ‘The Transition from School to University’. The second theme, ‘Mindful Engagement with Media Content’, describes the participants reported pattern of engagement with the media, including three subthemes: ‘Awareness of Messages about the Female Body’, ‘Criticism of the Media’, and ‘Mindful Selection of Media’. The third theme, ‘Conceptualisation and Interpretation of Body- Related Information’, illustrates the way in which young women mentally conceptualised and interpreted events that are related to their bodies, and consisted of two subthemes: ‘Functional Conceptualisation of the Body’ and ‘Responding to Negative Thoughts and Feelings about the Body’. The final theme, ‘The Role of Religious and Cultural Identities in Shaping Body Image’, highlights the way that messages conveyed by religious and cultural ideologies impact the way women experiences their bodies. These findings contribute to understanding of how some women can establish and maintain positive body image, and may be applied in areas of education and clinical psychology. For instance, girls and young women may be educated on the media and taught cognitive strategies to provide a buffer against negative feelings about the body. The present findings may also inform future research, and several suggestions for this are discussed.
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectpositive
dc.subjectbody
dc.subjectimage
dc.subjectnew
dc.subjectzealand
dc.subjectqualitative
dc.subjectwomen
dc.subjectpositive psychology
dc.title“I’m actually pretty happy with how I am”: A Focus Group Study of Young Women with Positive Body Image
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2017-10-18T18:09:37Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineDepartment of Psychology
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Science
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.interloanyes
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
 Find in your library

Files in this item

FilesSizeFormatView

There are no files associated with this item.

This item is not available in full-text via OUR Archive.

If you would like to read this item, please apply for an inter-library loan from the University of Otago via your local library.

If you are the author of this item, please contact us if you wish to discuss making the full text publicly available.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record