Existing research indicates many women experience significant psychological distress when trying on clothing, especially swimwear. This effect appears to be less pronounced in men. It is important to further examine whether reactions to clothing try on differ as a function of gender and to explore which psychosocial variables predispose women to negative reactions following clothing try on. The purpose of the present study is two-fold. The primary aim is to examine the psychophysiological impact of clothing try on as a function of gender. A secondary aim is to examine psychosocial predictors of adverse reactions among women to clothing try on.
Sympathetic stress response was assessed via spectral analysis of electrocardiogram (ECG) data among college-aged men (n= 37) and women (n= 39) in swimwear and non-swimwear conditions. Women showed a marginally significant increase in sympathetic stress response from the non-swimwear to swimwear conditions. Additionally, women showed significantly lower positive affect and significantly higher body dissatisfaction following clothing try on conditions (swimwear and non-swimwear) compared to men. Submissive behavior, trait self-objectification, eating disorder (ED) symptoms, social comparison, self-esteem, and body dissatisfaction at time 1 predicted women’s time 2 swimwear stress response and overall decreases in positive affect following clothing try on conditions.
Kelly Siglin-Fuller, ’10 Lingle, WY
Jenelle Wagoner, ’10 Mount Vernon, IA
Majors: English, Psychology
Shannon Claxton, ’10 Manitou Springs, CO
Tara Ohrt, ’11 Marshalltown, IA
Majors: Psychology, Music
Puroitree Majumdar, ’10 Delhi, India
Majors: Psychology, Biology
Andrea Aerts, ’11 David City, NE
Sponsor: Melinda Green