Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science (MS)
Department / School
Communication Studies and Theatre
body-size, communication, heath, laypeople, self-esteem, stigma
Personal experience with weight-based stigma is negatively associated with selfesteem (Myers & Rosen, 1999). This study examined how self-esteem is affected by exposure to weight-based stigma communication that is directed at another person. Using Smith’s (2007a) stigma communication framework, I created a 2 (Stigma Level: high, low) x 2 (Gender of stigmatized person: male, female) x 2 (Body Size of stigmatized person: large, small) posttest-only experiment. Participants’ self-esteem was not impacted after viewing stigmatizing messages directed at another person. This suggests that selfesteem is more stable than some researchers indicate (Wagner, Lüdtke, and Trautwein, 2016). My results suggest that stigma communication message features, marking and personal responsibility, are more obvious in high stigma level conditions. Furthermore, results indicate that aspects of stigma are recognized in larger bodies more often than small bodies. These results suggest that perceptions about stigma communication vary by the stigma level and the stigma target’s attributes, namely body size. Implications are discussed.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
College students -- Attitudes.
Stigma (Social psychology)
Includes bibliographical references (pages 64-73)
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
Malterud, Andie, "Do College Students Perceive Stigma the Same Way Experts Do? An Experimental Test of Lay Perceptions of Body-Size Stigma" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1205.