Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Psychology (Masters)

Content Description

1 online resource (iv, 64 pages) : black and white illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Drew A Anderson

Committee Members

Julia M Hormes


Body Dissatisfaction, Eating Disorders, Peer Relationships, Body image disturbance, Body image, Peer pressure, College students, Eating disorders

Subject Categories



Body dissatisfaction has long been implicated as an important etiological factor in the development and maintenance of disordered eating; however, despite the high rates of body dissatisfaction observed within the general population, only a small fraction of individuals develop clinical levels of eating pathology. The current study endeavors to test whether variables related to the peer context may be helpful in better predicting when body dissatisfaction may lead to eating disordered behavior. Undergraduates (N = 500, 63.6% female) completed various questionnaires related to body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and the peer environment. Results indicated that various types of peer commentary were moderators of the relationship between body dissatisfaction and disordered eating, such that having peers that negatively engaged in direct commentary about one's weight exacerbated the relationship. Future research must focus on ways to better incorporate the peer context into ED treatment and prevention efforts, with a particular focus on changing patterns of verbal commentary amongst peer groups.

Included in

Psychology Commons