Date of Award

4-1981

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Koronakas

Second Advisor

Dr. Malcolm Robertson

Third Advisor

Dr. Wayne Fuqua

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

Behavioral technology has been applied to obesity/weight reduction. Three problems are identified: (1) the discrepancy between the measurement of, and the duration of time required for the acquisition and remediation of obesity and of weight; (2) the consensus of various reviewers that there are a number of methodological deficiencies in experimental studies termed behavioral approaches to obesity/weight reduction; (3) the absence of expressed methodological criteria stated by reviewers for their recommendations of certain procedures. There is compliance to some of the methodological c rite ria of the experimental analysis of behavior as adapted to obesity, and to weight in the studies recommended by the reviewers. Four factors regulate human body weight: genetic inheritance and metabolic processes; and eating and exercise behaviors which result from intellectual functioning, age, socio-economic status, environmental setting, and social control. These factors also affect therapeutic decisions. Opportunity for behavioral researchers to derive empirical data on eating and exercise behaviors of obese and overweight subjects exists among institutionalized populations. Until unequivocal data become available, the integrity of behavioral science is served by clinical therapists targeting client control over client environment. Obesity/weight reduction programs are intrinsic in the obligation the medical profession has to its consumers.

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