Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Suzanne M. Hedstrom

Second Advisor

Dr. Elaine Phillips

Third Advisor

Dr. Edward Trembley


This research began as an exploratory investigation into body image differences between individuals who were weight cyclers and those who were noncyclers. Participants were fem ale and m ale graduate students (n= 444) who completed the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire (Cash, 1990a), the Contour Drawing Rating Scale (M.A. Thompson & Gray, 1995), and the Weight History Questionnaire (W H Q ), a researcher developed self-report survey of weight, dieting, and demographic information. Data gathered from the WHQ were used to identify pairs of individuals who were matched on cycling status, gender, age, and body mass index. Fifteen such pairs were identified and matched among the females; however, due to lower numbers of males in the sample and also lower levels of weight cycling and dieting among these males, the matching process was not able to be accomplished for the males. Therefore, the study was completed only with the female portion of the sample. Data gathered from two body image measures were analyzed using correlated samples t-tests with the researcher controlling for an overall experimental error rate of 5%. Findings indicated there were statistically significant differences between fem ale weight cyclers and noncyclers on seven of 12 body image variables, including appearance evaluation, body-size dissatisfaction, body-areas satisfaction, health evaluation, body-size perception, self-classified weight, and overweight preoccupation. These finding support other empirical and clinical accounts which attest to the psychologically disruptive force of weight change and weight cycling on various facets of body image.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access