Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Parham, Ellen S.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Human and Family Resources


Weight loss; Interactive computer systems; Behavior modification


The purpose of this study was to develop an interactive computer program and study its usefulness in weight loss programs that use behavior modification techniques. This computer program was designed to give quick feedback on the level of goal attainment for target behaviors such as exercise and eating behaviors and response-contingent positive reinforcement. The effectiveness of this computer program as a tool in weight loss programs was evaluated and assessed in order to determine possible applications of such innovative techniques in the future. Ten subjects participated in this study. The subjects were divided randomly into two cohorts, Group A and Group B. The duration of study was eight weeks and a crossover design was used. Group A used the computer program for the first four weeks and then group B used the computer program for the remaining four weeks of the study. During the weeks when the subjects were not using the computer program, the individuals in that group were given written feedback by a graduate assistant. Results indicated that most of the subjects maintained their commitments better when they were using the computer program, but none of the differences are statistically significant except for food commitment scores in one group. The subject's opinions about the benefits of the computer program and the computer attitude scores did not change after using the computer program.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 25-27 and 48-52)


vi, 83 pages




Northern Illinois University

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