Thursday, January 30, 2014

An Examination of the Relationship Between Cosmetic Surgery–Related Reality Television Show Viewing and American Women’s Desire for Cosmetic Surgery

Bernadette Blondie Chitunya–Wilson, Fielding's School of Psychology

This study sought to examine the relationship between Cosmetic Surgery–Related Reality Television (CS–RRTV) show viewing and American women’s desire for Cosmetic Surgery (CS) in the United States and its territories. In addition, the study also examined individuals’ attitudes about CS and personality traits to determine the existence of any mediating factors affecting an individual’s desire for CS. Based on research literature reviewed, this is probably the first study to investigate the relationship between CS–RRTV program viewing and American women’s desire for CS, in a sample population of students and nonstudents. In this study, online and on–paper structured questionnaires were administered to 350 adult American student and non–student participants between the ages of 20 and 70 years old; 300 questionnaires were returned. Descriptive statistics and Pearson product moment correlations were used to determine any relationship between CS–RRTV and desire for CS. Of the total participants 34% were students and 66% were nonstudents. Eighty–four percent of the participants watched Reality Television (RTV) shows, while 16% never watched RTV. Sixty–three percent of the and CS–RRTV show viewers agreed that such shows influenced their desire for CS. Results indicated a statistically significant correlation between CS–RTV / CS–RRTV viewership attitude and the desire of adult American women for CS. Self–esteem mediated the effect of CS–RTV show viewing influencing women to have the desire for CS. Personality traits and body image were negatively but significantly correlated with desire for CS. These findings establish a significant relationship between CS–RTV show viewing and American women’s desire for CS.

Key Words: Reality Television, Cosmetic Surgery, Body Image, Personality Traits, Self– Esteem, Cosmetic Surgery-Reality Television, Cosmetic Surgery-Related Reality Television.

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