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Perceived Physical Appearance: Assessing Measurement Equivalence in Black, Latino, and White Adolescents.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsw047
ObjectiveThis aim of this study was to examine whether the construct of physical appearance perception differed among the three largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States using an adolescent sample.
MethodsBlack (46%), Latino (31%), and White (23%) adolescents in Grade 10 from the Healthy Passages study ( N = 4,005) completed the Harter's Self-Perception Profile for Adolescents-Physical Appearance Scale (SPPA-PA) as a measure of physical appearance perception.
ResultsOverall, Black adolescents had a more positive self-perception of their physical appearance than Latino and White adolescents. However, further analysis using measurement invariance testing revealed that the construct of physical appearance perception, as measured by SPPA-PA, was not comparable across the three racial/ethnic groups in both males and females.
ConclusionsThese results suggest that observed differences may not reflect true differences in perceptions of physical appearance. Measures that are equivalent across racial/ethnic groups should be developed to ensure more precise measurement and understanding.
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