248350 Spanish-language mass media exposure and Latino sociocultural factors predicting self-esteem and body image: Findings from a quantitative study of Spanish-speaking women

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tilly A. Gurman, DrPH , School of Public Health and Health Services, Dept. of Global Health, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, Malawi
Sandra de Castro Buffington, MPH , USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, Hollywood, Health & Society, Beverly Hills, CA
Sheila Murphy, PhD , Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Meghan Bridgid Moran, PhD , School of Communication, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
Grace Huang, MPH , Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, University of Southern California, Alhambra, CA
Background: Limited research exists regarding the association between Spanish-language mass media exposure and body image or self-esteem for Latinas. The present study investigates the influence of Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso (a Telemundo telenovela concerning plastic surgery) and other Spanish-language mass media for a sample of Latinas.

Methods: Latinas (N=437)—recruited through Telemundo.com— self-administered a Spanish survey addressing demographics, sociocultural and community factors, body image, self-esteem, attitudes towards and experience with plastic surgery, as well as exposure to Spanish-language media, including the telenovela. Factor analysis informed the creation of indices for mass media exposure, sociocultural factors, and body image. Multivariate regression identified predictors to body image and Rosenberg self-esteem scores.

Results: Multivariate logistic regression identified perceived comfort of asking health care providers questions (OR = 2.84; p = 0.03), frequent viewing of Sin Senos No Hay Paraíso (OR = 2.5; p = 0.01), and perceived importance of family honor (OR = 2.16; p = 0.04) as the strongest predictors of favorable body image. Multivariate linear regression identified perceived beauty-related pressure from TV (b = 4.10; p = 0.001), perceived comfort of asking health care providers questions (b =3.56; p = 0.007), perceived openness within the family (b = 3.53; p = 0.006), and acculturation (b = -0.93; p = 0.007) as the strongest predictors of higher self-esteem.

Conclusion: The current study suggests that sociocultural factors (i.e. importance of family honor, acculturation) as well as mass media may influence Latinas' self-esteem and body image. As a result, public health programs at the community level should tailor their approaches to address not only sociocultural factors but also the type of mass media consumed by the intended audience.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1.Identify predictors to self-esteem and body image for a sample of Spanish-speaking women 2.Explain the way in which factor analysis is useful when analyzing quantitative data on for social behavioral science research 3.Describe implications for public health programs addressing body image concerns for diverse populations, including Latinas

Keywords: Latinas, Health Communications

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the design, implementation, and analysis of the research on which the abstract is based. My professional training is in health communication, with specific focus and interest in the Latino diaspora.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.