Describing the Cultural Perceptions of Weight and Perceived Body Size with Obese African American Women: A Descriptive Focused Ethnography

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/255193
Title:
Describing the Cultural Perceptions of Weight and Perceived Body Size with Obese African American Women: A Descriptive Focused Ethnography
Author:
Speaks, Patricia Ann
Issue Date:
2012
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
African American women (AAW) have the highest incidence and prevalence of obesity among all cultural groups in the United States. Understanding cultural factors which influence perception of body size and ultimately impact decisions by obese AAW to lose or manage their weight is essential in ultimately designing culturally appropriate interventions. Gaining insight into the core cultural perceptions and factors that influence acceptable body size is imperative to furthering scientific knowledge with obese AAW. Larger body sizes for women are often culturally accepted and perceived as attractive and desirable within the African American community. Self-definition and self-worth, concepts found in Black Feminist Theory, play a pivotal role in the perceptions that obese AAW have about weight loss and weight management. The interconnectedness of the two concepts provided a strong basis for this qualitative research design to examine how these concepts may influence perceptions of acceptable body size among AAW. The purpose of this study was to describe the cultural perceptions of weight and ideal body size with obese AAW from an emic or insider's perspective. A focused ethnographic perspective was used to describe obese AAW's cultural norms about perceived body size and describe obese AAW's self-definition and self-worth that relate to perceived body size. A sample of eight obese AAW was recruited for the study. Data collection included: (a) individual interviews; (b) participant observation; and (c) field notes. The overarching theme derived from the data was "I'm Ok with Me." There were four subthemes that supported the overarching theme. They included: (a) acceptance of heavier body size by others; (b) acceptance of heavier body size by self; (c) cultural foods that impact heavier body size; and (d) sedentary lifestyles that impact heavier body size. The overarching theme lays a foundation for nursing towards cultural competency with obese AAW. Future studies are needed to further evaluate perception of body size and how obese AAW culturally define themselves and define their self-worth in relation to perception of body size.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Obesity; Nursing; African American Women; Black Feminist Theory
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Nursing
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Crist, Janice D.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleDescribing the Cultural Perceptions of Weight and Perceived Body Size with Obese African American Women: A Descriptive Focused Ethnographyen_US
dc.creatorSpeaks, Patricia Annen_US
dc.contributor.authorSpeaks, Patricia Annen_US
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractAfrican American women (AAW) have the highest incidence and prevalence of obesity among all cultural groups in the United States. Understanding cultural factors which influence perception of body size and ultimately impact decisions by obese AAW to lose or manage their weight is essential in ultimately designing culturally appropriate interventions. Gaining insight into the core cultural perceptions and factors that influence acceptable body size is imperative to furthering scientific knowledge with obese AAW. Larger body sizes for women are often culturally accepted and perceived as attractive and desirable within the African American community. Self-definition and self-worth, concepts found in Black Feminist Theory, play a pivotal role in the perceptions that obese AAW have about weight loss and weight management. The interconnectedness of the two concepts provided a strong basis for this qualitative research design to examine how these concepts may influence perceptions of acceptable body size among AAW. The purpose of this study was to describe the cultural perceptions of weight and ideal body size with obese AAW from an emic or insider's perspective. A focused ethnographic perspective was used to describe obese AAW's cultural norms about perceived body size and describe obese AAW's self-definition and self-worth that relate to perceived body size. A sample of eight obese AAW was recruited for the study. Data collection included: (a) individual interviews; (b) participant observation; and (c) field notes. The overarching theme derived from the data was "I'm Ok with Me." There were four subthemes that supported the overarching theme. They included: (a) acceptance of heavier body size by others; (b) acceptance of heavier body size by self; (c) cultural foods that impact heavier body size; and (d) sedentary lifestyles that impact heavier body size. The overarching theme lays a foundation for nursing towards cultural competency with obese AAW. Future studies are needed to further evaluate perception of body size and how obese AAW culturally define themselves and define their self-worth in relation to perception of body size.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectObesityen_US
dc.subjectNursingen_US
dc.subjectAfrican American Womenen_US
dc.subjectBlack Feminist Theoryen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineNursingen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorCrist, Janice D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberJones, Elaine G.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcEwen, Marylyn M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMay, Kathleen M.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberCrist, Janice D.en_US
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