Date of Award

Spring 5-2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Advisor/Committee Chair

Christina Scharmer

Committee Member

Drew Anderson, Ph.D.


Eating disorders are a well-known and well-documented issue with known deleterious effects on one’s health. Because of this fact, it is important to identify protective factors against the development and/or maintenance of eating disorders. Social support has been identified as a factor that can play a role in recovery from eating disorders. While the importance of social support has been broadly examined in research, social connectedness specifically has been explored less explicitly. Social connectedness involves feelings of belonging, identification with others, and healthy social interaction. This study sought to assess the role of social connectedness in eating disorder symptomatology. We hypothesized that those with healthy levels of social connectedness are less likely to display symptoms. In testing this hypothesis we sought to be mindful of gender disparities in research on eating disorders. Oftentimes, the targets of research on eating disorders are women. While women are often affected by these disorders, it is important not to exclude an entire other group of individuals who are also susceptible to developing some kind of eating pathology. Men are more often affected than the public would think, due to lack of identification of an eating disorder or societal expectations. The current study aims to explore the link between social connectedness and eating disorders, with specific attention to gender.

Included in

Psychology Commons