Gender differences in internal beliefs about weight and negative attitudes towards self and others

Marika Tiggemann, Esther D. Rothblum

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    42 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Previous research has found that people with an internal weight locus of control (beliefs in self-control over weight) are more likely to join and stay in weight-loss programs and have higher self-esteem than those who have an external locus of control (e.g., belief that weight is due to luck, genes). There has been no research on how weight locus of control affects the self-esteem of people who are not average weight or not satisfied with their weight. The present study predicted that for people who are overweight, weight locus of control would be negatively related to self-esteem. The results confirmed this interaction between weight locus of control and weight on self-esteem for women, but not for men. The second prediction was that internal weight locus of control would have negative social consequences in terms of greater negative stereotyping of obese people, and this was also confirmed for women. Because weight loss is rarely permanent, it would seem important to change people's attitudes about the lack of control that they (and others) have over body weight.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)581-593
    Number of pages13
    JournalPsychology of Women Quarterly
    Volume21
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1997

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