Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Psychology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD, 2015), the largest majority of people with an Eating Disorder (ED) are female college aged students. The current study suggests this is due to the differences in society’s portrayal of gender. Media suggests women should strive for a thinness that is unrealistic and unattainable for most women. Participants for the current study take two surveys at separate times to measure how media portrayals of the female body affects eating disorders. The surveys are made up of either a media influence stressing the importance of muscularity or a thinness influence portraying the thin ideal body that media currently expresses. It was hypothesized in this study that ED symptoms are lower after the muscular survey than the thin survey, and ratings on the thin survey will negatively affect body image scores. There was no statistically significant difference found between ED scores or body image ratings. It was found that media’s thin influence is not a causal factor of ED symptoms. The thin-ideal was not found to negatively affect body image either compared to a focus on muscularity.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Frederick Grieve

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology | Psychology

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