Tag Archives: Women

Women with Eating Disorders and Perceived Social Support

Claire E. Cusack & Jennifer L. Hughes*
Agnes Scott College

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v13/cusack.html

Abstract: Body image issues and eating disorders are becoming a growing concern for women. Social support has been found to serve as a buffer for mental health even when the person is experiencing psychological distress (Kawachi & Berkman, 2001). The aim of the current study was to determine whether social support is related to eating disorder attitudes and body image concerns by examining the effects of social support for women with and without eating disorders while attending to other variables, such as eating disorder type, level of care received, and sexual orientation. Our sample was composed of 202 participants who voluntarily completed an online survey. There were positive correlations between body image and perceived social support from family and friends for women with and without eating disorders. ANOVAs showed no significant effect of perceived social support from friends or family or level of care on eating disorder symptoms or body image. Lastly, in regard to sexual orientation, there were no significant differences between heterosexual women and sexual minority women in eating disordered symptoms, number of women with eating disorders, or body image concern. The results indicate that women with eating disorders perceive less social support than women without eating disorders from friends, and family. Additionally, social support from family and friends is related to a more positive body image for both women with and without eating disorder history. Women experience similar frequency of eating disordered symptoms and body image concerns regardless of type of social support or level of care. Lastly, our findings show that women of varying sexual orientations experience eating disorder symptoms and body image concerns at similar rates. The results of this research have implications to influence eating disorder prevention and treatment programs by acknowledging the impact of social support on eating disorder symptoms and body image for women.

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Sports Team Participation As A Predictor For Self-Esteem In Adolescent Females

Stephanie Campbell, Darlene Haff*, Nevada State College

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v13/campbell.html

Abstract: This study examines how sports team participation on one, two, or three or more teams is correlated with female adolescent reports of feeling sad and/or hopeless for two or more weeks, being hit by a boyfriend, the number of sexual partners, and substance abuse using the Centers for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. A total of 8,280 female adolescents were drawn into the sample. Chi-square tables were used to analyze feelings of sadness and/or hopelessness for two or more weeks, being hit by a boyfriend, and the number of sexual partners. A one-way ANOVA and post hoc test were used to analyze the substance abuse index. Overall, this study found that feelings of sadness and/or hopelessness and substance abuse were significantly reduced with sports team participation. There was a non-significant increase in the percentage reported to not have been hit by a boyfriend between those who did not play on a sports team and those who played on one sports team. Lastly, females with no sex partners or a lower number of sex partners were more likely to be involved with sports team participation.

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Content Analysis and Comparison of Women’s Literature: Relating Sex, Ethnics, and Communication in Gender

Ellen Wieberg, Pittsburg State University

Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v12/wieberg.html

Abstract This content analysis bridges the gap between the theoretical in the field of gender studies and the historical situation of societal cultures and pressures surrounding gender with the everyday experiences that are still occurring presently. This paper focuses on nine separate observations from the reference, Sex, Ethnics, and Communication (Peterson, 2011); it then makes a comparison to the everyday life of an American undergraduate student and three other novels.

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Women and Nostalgia During the American Civil War: Cursed as a Cause, Blessed as the Cure

Alicia Zuberbier,
Dr. Lori Kelly*,
Carroll College

Full paper: www.kon.org/urc/v11/zuberbier.html

Abstract: During the Victorian era, women were expected to be angels of the home, likened to heavenly saints of the domestic world. They cared for the entire house, devoting their lives to the contentment of their children and husband. Women who followed in these roles had happy little families, presenting the picture perfect Victorian household. However, in 1861, the start of the American Civil War, their slice of domestic heaven crumbled. Their men left, off to face a slew of horrors, ranging from death and destruction to unmanageable diseases, nostalgia being one of them. One Civil War veteran described nostalgia–an extreme homesickness–saying it “fastens upon the breast of its prey, and sucks, vampire-like, the breath of his nostrils. Many a heroic spirit after braving death at the cannon’s mouth . . . has at length succumbed unresistingly to this vampire, Nostalgia” (Matt, “Home”). Left behind, women were trapped in a paradox by nostalgia because, in a sense, as providers of good homes they contributed to the illness. Ironically, for similar reasons, they also became an antidote. It was quickly recognized that women were a cause for the life threatening illness known as nostalgia, but as the war came to its end, they were considered to have the most impact on its cure.

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