Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Psychology


Clinical Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (iii, 170 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Drew A. Anderson

Committee Members

Thomas B. Hildebrandt, Mitchell Earleywine


Body checking, Body image avoidance, Body image dissatisfaction, Mirror exposure, Body image, Body image in women, Body image in men

Subject Categories

Clinical Psychology


Although body checking and avoidance behaviors are associated with a range of negative behavioral, emotional, and cognitive outcomes and have been identified as maintaining factors in body dissatisfaction and eating disorder psychopathology, they have only recently begun to be researched as an important target of treatment. Few studies have used experimental means to examine the direct effects of body checking manipulations, and those that have were conducted on one occasion. Further, research published to date has only examined potential treatments aimed at reducing body checking and avoidance behaviors in female or predominantly female samples. The present study sought to address the gaps in the body checking and avoidance literature by comparing an experimental manipulation of body checking and mindfulness-based mirror exposure (MME), a promising body image treatment technique, in a mixed gender high shape/weight concern sample over the course of a week. The study design allows for the examination of direct and more lasting effects of the body checking and MME manipulations. Women were more reactive to the body checking and MME procedures, showing direct decrements in mood, self-esteem, and body image satisfaction following body checking and longer-lasting improvements in the same variables after MME. Unlike female participants, men in the control condition demonstrated improvement over time in body image, self-esteem, and mood. Current findings are discussed as they relate to theoretical accounts the role of body checking and avoidance in eating disorder and body image psychopathology.