Effects of daughter's perceptions of mother's body image on personal body image and related issues

Joy T Williams, Tennessee State University


The focus of this study was to explore how a daughter’s perception of their mother’s body image, health patterns and self- esteem effected their own current personal body image, eating behaviors and exercise patterns. The primary hypothesis for this study included daughters who perceived their mothers to have higher body satisfaction would have a more positive eating attitude, higher body- esteem and a decreased fear of becoming fat. It was also hypothesized that African American daughters would perceive their mothers as having higher body satisfaction, there would be significant different reasons as to why mothers and daughters exercise, and Caucasian daughters will exercise more frequently. The sample included 220 African American and Caucasian female students who attended Tennessee State University. In order to obtain adequate information on perceptions of mother’s body image and its effects on a daughter’s personal body image and related issues, a number of instruments were selected for inclusion in this study. Results indicated that as a daughter perceived their mother to have higher body satisfaction, they too reported higher levels of body satisfaction. There were significant differences in reasons that daughters perceived their mothers and themselves to exercise between the two races. Implications for this investigation are discussed in terms of how this information can affect psychotherapy and recommendations for future research are also suggested.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Developmental psychology|Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Joy T Williams, "Effects of daughter's perceptions of mother's body image on personal body image and related issues" (2010). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3413723.