Healthy eating, exercise, weight and body image : the closer I get the better I feel
Master of Arts
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
SubjectBody weight (Psychological aspects)
Nutrition (Psychological aspects)
Body image in women
MetadataShow full item record
Many studies have found evidence showing that women are dissatisfied with their bodies. Self-discrepancy theory (Higgins, 1987) may be particularly applicable to this area of study due to the difference between the North American ideal of beauty and the reality of most women's bodies. Discrepancies may also be observed in areas related to healthy lifestyles such as eating and physical activity. In the present study, a sample of 121 undergraduate females were asked to rate their proximity to and valence of reaching their own definitions of healthy eating, body image, physical activity, and body weight. The participants were also asked to respond to questionnaires, which served as predictor variables. The present study had two main goals: (a) to determine what factors would predict proximity to the healthy definitions; and (b) to determine if valence of reaching these definitions would serve as a moderator variable. The results of hierarchical multiple regressions indicated that combinations of the nine predictor variables could predict the four different types of proximity. This study also found support in the areas of eating and body weight for the hypothesis that valence would moderate the relationship between the predictor variables and proximity. The overall results of this study indicated that the closer women are to reaching their healthy ideals, the more likely they are to also experience increased positive affect and better self-esteem.