Date of Award:

5-1999

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Health, Physical Education, and Recreation

Advisor/Chair:

Julie A. Gast

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Richard D. Gordon

Third Advisor:

Mary E. Doty

Abstract

Significant levels of body dissatisfaction exist among college women. Research has also shown levels of body dissatisfaction among college men. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the relationship between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem as well as the relationship between self-esteem and social support. Past research, however, has neglected to determine if a relationship exists between body dissatisfaction and social support.

This study sought to determine if this relationship exists for college men and women. The present study was also developed to test the relationships that have been found between social support and self-esteem as well as between self-esteem and body dissatisfaction.

Significant correlations were found for all relationships investigated in the present study for both men and women. Strong relationships were found between self-esteem and body dissatisfaction for both men and women. Significant relationships were found between self-esteem and social support in both men and women. Significant, yet smaller, relationships were also found between social support and body dissatisfaction for both men and women.

These relationships shed light on the complex issue of body dissatisfaction. Health educators should be aware of the relationship that was found between social support and body dissatisfaction in college men and women, and use this information to increase the effectiveness of the intervention programs aimed at decreasing levels of body dissatisfaction.

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