Body Positivity for Asian Americans: Development and Evaluation of the Pride in Asian American Appearance Scale (PAAAS)

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While a growing body of literature has examined factors that contribute to Asian Americans’ negative body image, little research has investigated Asian Americans’ body image from a strengths-based perspective. This study thus presents the Pride in Asian American Appearance Scale (PAAAS), which was designed to measure the extent to which Asian Americans feel positively about their own racialized physical appearances as well as those of fellow Asian Americans. Items were developed through an extensive literature review, cognitive interviews, and expert feedback. Exploratory (N = 398) and confirmatory (N = 398) factor analyses suggested a 4-factor structure and produced a 25-item scale with the following subscales: (a) Pride in Asian Features, (b) Preference for Asian American Appearance, (c) Asian Americans as Desirable, and (d) Action Promoting Asians’ Attractiveness. Internal consistency estimates as well as factor determinacies were high and demonstrated that the specified items adequately represented their intended factors. The PAAAS was significantly correlated in theoretically expected directions with internalized racism, collective self-esteem, and psychological distress. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.