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Rural-Urban Differences in Body Appreciation and Associations with Life Satisfaction in Adults from Sabah, Malaysia
journal contributionposted on 2023-09-01, 15:02 authored by Viren Swami, Jennifer Todd
Studies of body appreciation have typically focused on measurement of the construct in urban populations and there remains very little research on body appreciation in rural communities. To fill this gap, the present study examined rural-urban differences in body appreciation in an adult Kadazan-Dusun sample from the state of Sabah in Malaysia. Participants from rural (n = 215) and urban (n = 219) locales in the West Coast administrative district of Sabah were asked to complete Malay versions of the Body Appreciation Scale-2 (BAS-2) and the Satisfaction With Life Scale, and to provide their demographic details. Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis evidenced both partial metric invariance (by allowing loadings for three items to vary) and partial scalar invariance (by freeing the intercept for one item) on the BAS-2. Between-group analyses indicated that rural participants had significantly greater body appreciation than urban participants overall. Additionally, urban men had significantly greater body appreciation than urban women, but there was no gender difference in the rural subsample. Finally, correlational analyses indicated that body appreciation was significantly associated with life satisfaction in both the rural and urban subsamples. The present results highlight the importance of further considering the phenomenology of body appreciation in rural communities.
Publication titleBody Image
- Accepted version