Date of Graduation

Summer 2009


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

Ann Rost


College-age women commonly have negative body image concerns and men have increasingly been found to share similar concerns (Forrest & Stuhldreher, 2007). Unfortunately, research indicates that men and women with body image dissatisfaction have higher levels of depression, anxiety, and greater chance of suicidality than those without body dissatisfaction (Dyl, Kittler, Phillips, & Hunt, 2006). In another line of research, it has been reported that decreased psychological distress is associated with psychological acceptance of painful emotional stimuli (Hayes, et al., 2004); and a similar relationship has been reported to exist for living in concordance with one's values (McCracken & Yang, 2006). The current study combines these areas of research to examine the possible relationship between acceptance and values concordance on distress as related to body image concerns among college men and women. The results indicate significant bivariate correlations between body image and distress, as well as acceptance and distress, for both men and women. Results further indicate a significant relationship between body image concerns and acceptance among both men and women, such that individuals who score lower in acceptance, indicate higher levels of body image concerns and/or dissatisfaction. Acceptance did not, however, mediate the relationship between body image concerns and distress. Information obtained from this study may lead to further investigation into the role of acceptance in treating those with body image concerns and distress.


body image, acceptance, personal values, psychological distress, acceptance and commitment therapy

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© Heather Renee Manley

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