Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Brooke Whisenhunt

Keywords

body checking, ecological momentary assessment, ecological momentary intervention, body dissatisfaction, eating disorders

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

This study investigated the efficacy of an ecological momentary intervention (EMI) targeting body checking behaviors (weighing, mirror checking, and feeling the body for fat). Body checking has been shown to increase body dissatisfaction and play a role in eating disorders. A digitally based intervention delivered in individuals' naturalistic environments has not yet been explored in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to combine ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to capture body checking frequency and an EMI to target body checking. For the current study, 44 female undergraduates with high body checking levels and healthy weight participated in a five-day intervention where they received five messages via their smart phones each day assessing the frequency of body checking. On the final two days of the study, an intervention message was also sent containing cognitive-behavioral strategies for decreasing body checking. Multilevel modeling was used to investigate the relationship between time (within day and across days), body dissatisfaction, and reported body checking. Body checking behaviors increased within each day while decreasing across the five day intervention period. Additionally, analyses of pre to posttest measures found healthy improvements in a number of body image related constructs. These results suggest that targeting body checking behaviors through a brief ecological momentary intervention may be a useful clinical tool.

Copyright

© Jamie Marie Smith

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons

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