Body Dissatisfaction, Need for Social Approval, and Eating Disturbances Among Japanese and American College Women1

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A total of 171 Japanese and 144 American college women (90% European American, 4% African American, 4% Asian or Asian American, and 2% other) completed the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), the Body Dissatisfaction Subscale of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), and the Revised Martin-Larsen Approval Motivation Scale (MLAM). Japanese women expressed the greater dissatisfaction with their body but no more eating disturbances than American women. The need for social approval predicted the Japanese women's eating disturbances after controlling for the effects of body fatness (BMI) and body dissatisfaction. BMI was a significant predictor of eating disturbances for American women but not for Japanese women. The results were discussed in terms of their implications for cross-cultural similarities and differences in correlates of disordered eating.

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