Date of Graduation

Spring 2009


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Brooke Whisenhunt


cognitive dissonance, body image, thin ideal, internalization, peer led intervention, eating disorders

Subject Categories



Women with high levels of body dissatisfaction have repeatedly demonstrated significant improvements in body image following cognitive dissonance-based interventions. The current research project consisted of a two-pronged intervention. One intervention closely replicated previous studies by using the process of cognitive dissonance to improve body image among female college students. The second aspect of the study required the women to develop and implement a body image intervention with 3rd-4th grade children. The goals of these intervention included improving body image among college women and increasing positive body image in young children through a peer-led intervention. Seven female college participants with high body concerns attended 3 two-hour body image intervention sessions. During the intervention, the participants developed a body image program that they were responsible for implementing for children. A total of 24 male and female 3rd and 4th grade children attended the program. Among the college women, the results demonstrated significant improvements in several body image dimensions. There were no significant improvements in body image perception or thin ideal internalization among the children although body satisfaction improved significantly among female children. The current study demonstrated that having body-concerned college women develop and present an intervention for children can lead to improvements in several body image dimensions.


© Rachael E. Kroening

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