Thesis Title

An Examination of Body Image in Patients Seeking Gastric Bypass Surgery

Date of Graduation

Spring 2006


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Danae Hudson


The gastric bypass appears to be the most effective procedure for weight loss in morbidly obese patients. Empirical evidence suggests that patients experience significant dissatisfaction with body image prior to weight loss surgery. Body image is thought to be a multi-faceted concept that includes cognitive, affective, and behavioral components. The purpose of this study was to examine satisfaction with each of these components prior to surgery as well as any changes they may undergo following surgery. A series of questionnaire measures was administered to patients prior to surgery as well as 1 month following surgery. These questionnaires obtained information regarding patient eating habits and body image satisfaction. Male and female patients differed significantly in body image satsifcation with women demonstrating higher levels of dissatisfaction than men. Thus, analyses which focused on specific components of body image included only female participants. Women demonstrated significant dissatisfaction in cognitive, affective, and behavioral components of body image. Scores on the BSQ, BAQ, and BIAQ were significantly higher than those found in normative samples and were comparable to those found in an eating disorder population. In contrast, scores on the BCQ were comparable to those in normative samples suggesting patients at pre surgery were more preoccupied with avoiding than repeatedly checking their bodies. Additionally, scores on the BCQ and BIAQ were significantly correlated with scores on the BSQ. However, scores on the BCQ and BIAQ were not significantly correlated suggesting avoidance and checking behaviors provide unique contributions to satisfaction with body shape and weight. Following surgery, several patients showed a reduction in avoidance behaviors as well as increased satisfaction with shape and weight.


bariatric surgery, gastric bypass, body image, checking, avoidance

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© Megan E. Costello