You Should Be Reading: Fashion and Health Special Issue

CTRJ Jan 2014

This week, Worn Through would like to highlight the January 2014 special focus issue of the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal: Fashion and Health. The five articles in this issue represent a range of issues on the topic, from tanning behavior to body image and from diabetes to disabilities. What role does fashion play in each of these issues, and how can healthier–and more inclusive–choices be made when considering this question? The editors urge researchers to develop educational programs and seek out opportunities to implement the research possibilities detailed in this issue. 

1. Chang, H. J. J., Hodges, N., & Yurchisin, J. (2014). Consumers with disabilities: A qualitative exploration of clothing selection and use among female college studentsClothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(1), 34-48.

As the presence of disabled consumers has become more prevalent in social and occupational life, attention to the clothing needs of consumers with disabilities has increased. However, research about disabled consumers and their dress behavior remains scant. This study is designed to understand disabled consumers’dress behavior, specifically clothing selection and meanings. In-depth interviews were conducted with 10 disabled consumers. Five themes emerged as important to understanding their clothing behaviors: form and function, self-expression, social identity, self-efficacy, and symbols of victory. Themes are discussed relative to the literature on apparel meaning and consumer behavior, and findings are discussed within the framework of self-efficacy theory. Potential implications of this study and directions for future research are discussed. — Full Article Abstract 

2. Eklund, A., & Masberg, B. A. (2014). Participation in roller derby, the influence on body imageClothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(1), 49-64. 

Women’s flat track roller derby consists of two teams vying for points played on an oval track, and wearing quad skates. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact participation in roller derby has on body image. An online survey was used to gather data from members of roller derby leagues (n = 1597) in the United States. The survey contained quantitative questions from the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (MBSRQ) along with qualitative questions. Based upon the data, a typical respondent was Caucasian, 20 to 40 years of age, heterosexual, married/domestic partnership, and has a post-secondary degree. The null hypothesis was rejected as there was a significant difference when comparing means of the MBSRQ prior to joining and currently. Certain MBSRQ scales indicated a negative correlation with BMI. — Full Article Abstract

3. Evenson, S. L. (2014). Dress, Type 1 Diabetes, and adolescent developmentClothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(1), 65-76. 

The purpose of this white paper is to call for research on the intersection of dress, type 1 diabetes (T1D), and adolescent development. Management of T1D requires frequent blood glucose monitoring, and the individual is dependent on regular delivery of insulin through injections or an insulin pump. Much of the literature on T1D focuses on fostering healthy habits. The role of dress and identity is rarely addressed. The example of an adolescent teen with T1D is employed to demonstrate how equipment for blood glucose control fulfills the definition of dress. A review of literature reveals a body of knowledge on dress and identity, T1D and adolescent development, and T1D and identity. Interdisciplinary research on the intersection of these three factors is needed. At a point in life when most teens want to look unique but not too different from friends, managing the gear that maintains health and communicates diabetic identity must be better understood to support the patient. — Full Article Abstract

4. Shin, E., & Baytar, F. (2014). Apparel fit and size concerns and intentions to use virtual try-on: Impacts of body satisfaction and images of models’ bodies. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(1), 20-33.  

The objectives of this study were to investigate whether images of female bodies shown in a website influence female consumers’ level of body satisfaction and to examine how these variables affect online shoppers’ concerns with garment fit and size and their intentions to use a virtual try-on model. We conducted an experiment using a 2 × 2 between-subject factorial design with 249 college students. The results showed the main effects of female bodies associated with body satisfaction on female consumers’ concerns with garment fit and size. We also found a negative relationship between body satisfaction and concerns with garment fit and size as well as a positive relationship between concerns and intentions to use virtual try-on technology. However, we found no significant effect of female bodies on female consumers’ body satisfaction. — Full Article Abstract

5. Yoo, J.-J., & Kim, H.-Y. (2014). Perceived negative health effect of tanning: The interface between tanning attitudes and behaviors. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 32(1), 6-19.

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the perceived negative health effect of tanning (PNHET) and body-tanning attitudes and behaviors. A total of 333 college students with an average age of 19.8 years participated in the study. A majority of the participants were female (80.2%) and Caucasian (76.9%). Three body-tanning attitudes emerged from the data: pleasurable activity, physical attractiveness, and healthy behavior. The PNHET was negatively related to all three body-tanning attitudes and methods of tanning behaviors used (i.e., sunbathing, tanning beds, and sunless tanning product use). However, specific body-tanning attitudes independently influence the methods of body-tanning behaviors. Pleasurable activity was a significant attitude influencing indoor and outdoor tanning. College students seek tanning beds and tanning products, particularly when physical attractiveness is concerned. Healthy behavioral attitudes exist for outdoor tanning. Intervention strategies regarding body-tanning behaviors should focus on attitudinal changes, which specifically involve ultraviolet (UV) ray exposure. Educating the public about the negative health effects of tanning is still a very important intervention strategy to help individuals avoid excessive amount of harmful UV exposure and resultant skin cancer. Body-tanning behaviors, as a part of consumer culture, should change to minimize these unhealthy behaviors. — Full Article Abstract


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