Acculturation, out-group positivity and eating disorders symptoms among Emirati women
Weissgerber, Sophia Christin
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Western acculturation has been implicated in the development of eating disorders among populations liv- ing outside Europe and North America. This study explored the relationship between Western acculturation, in-group/ out-group evaluations and eating disorders symptoms among female citizens of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Emirati college women (N = 209) completed an affective priming task, designed to implicitly assess in-group (Emi- rati) and out-group (American) evaluations. Participants also completed the Westernization Survey, a widely used self-report measure of acculturation, and the Eating Atti- tudes Test (EAT-26). Across the whole sample, out-group positivity was correlated with higher levels of eating dis- order symptoms. Participants classified as at risk for eating disorders showed a clear out-group preference (out-group positivity greater than in-group positivity). Western accul- turation was also positively correlated with eating disorder symptoms. Overall, these findings lend further support to the acculturation hypothesis of eating disorders in the con- text of Emirati college women.