Conceptualizing Sociocultural Factors within Clinical and Research Contexts


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Abstract

Cafri, Yamamiya, Brannick, and Thompson (this issue) reported results from a meta-analysis of relations between three sociocultural factors and body image dissatisfaction. Comparison of the effect sizes reveals that internalization of a thin ideal and perceived pressures have significantly stronger relations to body image dissatisfaction than does awareness of a thin ideal. The authors tested for and found no evidence of a moderating relationship involving age or ethnicity. The findings raise implications for advancing the study of body image dissatisfaction and eating disorders. In this commentary, I consider some of the challenges of studying sociocultural factors within the contexts of clinical research and practice. Specifically, I consider how cultural influences may arise and describe the utility of ecological frameworks for conceptualizing and assessing the impact of sociocultural factors within a treatment context.

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