Hohyung Choi

Date of Award

January 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services

First Advisor

Kara Wettersten


Introduction: Despite of the apparent mental health disparities in the U.S. women of Asian descent population, less is known about the compounding effects of their experiences of gendered racism and sexism on their mental health. The majority of the existing literature, albeit limited, hinges on a nomothetic framework, overlooking the intra-group differences and the intersectionality of gender and racial identities. Objective: The overarching aim of the present study was to examine a racially expanded sexual objectification model in effort to understand women of Asian descent’s racialized and gendered experiences in relation to their overall subjective well-being. Method: A community sample of 700 self-reported women of Asian descent over the age of 18 in the U.S. was asked to complete anonymous online questionnaires measuring minority stress (i.e., model minority myth, gendered racial microaggressions, racism, racial teasing, sexual objectification), self-objectification, body shame, subjective well-being, and acculturation. The main analyses were conducted with a total sample of 322. Results: Our hypothesized models were partially supported. Our structural models demonstrated partially and fully mediating effects of body shame on the relationships from minority stress to SWB, and from self-objectification to SWB, respectively. Lastly, our hypothesis on the moderating effects of acculturation was not supported. Conclusion: Implications for future research and practice are discussed with respect to the importance of the intersections of gender and racial identities in understanding women of Asian descent’s mental health. Specifically, our findings on the unique and compounding effects of gender and racial oppression on the mental health of women of Asian descent delineate the underlying mechanisms in the relationship between racially discriminatory and sexually objectifying experiences and poor mental health outcomes through the lens of sexual objectification theory.

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