Online Program

Latina Ethnic Identity, Social Media and Community Influence on Body Image, Perception of Self, and Body Altering Health Behaviors: Investing Beyond One-dimensional Approaches

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Liliana Rojas-Guyler, PhD, CHES, Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Shameka Neely, PhDc, Health Promotion and Education, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH
Ana G. Montalvan, Health Promotion and Education, University, Cincinnati, OH
Statement of problem. Often interventions address eating and physical activity, or body image, or culture. Seldom do programs address the intersection of these aspects from a common perspective that includes culture, body image, social influence and health altering behaviors. Given the dynamic and complex relationship, further assessment of ethnic identity, perceptions of self, body image and health behaviors within the context of social media influence deserved investigation. Relevance. Body image and body perception are known to be relevant factors in weight and body altering behaviors, however all factors do not influence ethnic groups in a similar way. The literature shows poor understanding of motivational aspects among Latinos. Specifically, body image messages in the media along with mixed cultural expectations are problematic among Latinas. Interventions that address these complex mix of factors are necessary to develop culturally relevant programs. Method. A survey study evaluated if ethnic identity and social media were predictive of level of community influence on body image, perception of self, and body altering health behaviors among Latinas. Results. Descriptive and inferential statistics are presented based on this sample of 127 Latinas. Specifically, regression analyses of observed variables explicates the predictive relationship of ethnic identity and social media influences. Comparisons are presented among type of social media, familial and friendship influence on body image and perceptions of self among participants reporting higher levels of negative health behaviors. Conclusions. Varied levels of cultural identity and diversity among Latinas of how media messages influence body image warrant continued investigation.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how ethnic identity and social media are associated with body image and perception of self among Latinas Explicate the importance of research addressing the level of influence that social media can have on body altering health behaviors among Latinas

Keyword(s): Latinos, Health Promotion and Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the originator of the research idea. I am a tenured professor at the rank of Associate Professor at a Research I institution. I hold a PhD degree in Health Behavior from Indiana University School of Public Health.
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.