Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Leigh A. Ford
Dr. Autumn Edwards
Dr. Kathleen Wong
Weight-loss surgery, bariatric surgery, gastric bypass, communication, women
Masters Thesis-Open Access
Adult obesity rates are on the rise in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control (2009) which has led to an increase in obesity-related illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Weight-loss surgery (WLS) has become accepted as a "cure" for obesity by the medical community. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of obese individuals electing to undergo WLS every year; 82% of these individuals are women (AHRQ, 2007). More women may be electing to undergo these procedures than men due to the pressures women face in American culture to achieve social standards of female beauty and thinness (Kilbourne, 1999; Maine, 1999).
This research study focuses on the emotional journeys often women who elected to undergo WLS. Qualitative interviews were conducted and analyzed using Fraser's (2004) guide to coding narrative transcripts line by line. Specific attention was paid to the emergence of communication and identity themes. The goal of this research study was to answer the questions of how women who have undergone WLS conceptualize their identities and communicate about themselves during three distinct phases of their emotional journeys: pre-WLS, post-WLS, and 18+ months post-WLS.
Schild, Heather D., "I'm the Same Me: Communication and Renegotiation of Identity in the Weight-Loss Surgery Experiences of Women" (2012). Masters Theses. 76.