Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Home Economics


Weight loss; Self-actualization (Psychology)


In this investigation, the attrition rates of members of weight control programs were compared to attrition rates of overweight and normal weight members of other self-improvement programs. The sample included 389 subjects; 4-8 had withdrawn from weight control programs and 76 from other self-improvement programs. The subjects responded to a telephone questionnaire which assessed their reasons for withdrawal from self-improvement programs and the association between weight change and reasons for withdrawal given by former members of weight control programs. The incidence of attrition among members of weight control programs was found to be higher than that seen in normal weight members of other self-improvement programs. Overweight members of other self- improvement programs were also seen to have a higher attrition rate than their normal weight counterparts. Overweight subjects in both weight control programs and other self-improvement programs claimed to withdraw more often for personal/motivational reasons whereas normal weight subjects dropped out more often due to external/situational factors. The relationship between the reasons for withdrawal and degree of weight change among subjects from weight control groups was also observed. Those who experienced a relatively large weight loss gave program-related reasons for withdrawal most often. Those who lost a relatively small amount of weight gave personal/motivational reasons most frequently. No association between external/situational reasons and weight change was seen.


Includes bibliographical references.


iv, 51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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