Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

F. Richard Ferraro


The present study investigated associations between attachment styles, locus of control (LOC), ethnic identity, and competence regarding food-related behavior (competence) among 168 White and 61 American Indian participants. An experimental manipulation was also conducted in which the concept of reverse ethnocentrism was tested. Attachment style accounted for the most significant variance of competence at 9% followed by ethnicity at 2%. Ethnic identity and LOC accounted for nonsignificant variance at 4% and less than 1% respectively. Prior to the experimental manipulation, results found competence was significantly negatively associated with low anxiety and high avoidance (dismissing attachment style), and American Indian participants scored significantly higher in competence than White participants. After manipulation, repeated measures analyses revealed no significant within-subject main effects or interactions for race. Thus support for reverse ethnocentrism was not found. However, in the experimental condition competence scores increased for those with more internal LOC while more external LOC exhibited significant decreases in competence.