Erica Depcik

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Williams, Lavon

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education


Body image disturbance; Body image in women; Women college students--Psychology; Weight training--Psychological aspects


This thesis assessed the effectiveness of weight training on improving the body image of body image disturbed college females. A quasi-experimental design was employed to compare the differences in body image between body image disturbed females participating in weight training and body image disturbed females not participating in weight training following a 13-week training period using intact classes. The objective of this study was to determine if weight training is effective in improving body satisfaction of body image disturbed females. The methodology consisted of administering two body image questionnaires (Body Shape Questionnaire and Body Cathexis Scale) both prior to and following a 13-week period either involving or avoiding weight training. All participants were also questioned regarding their exercise habits, more specifically, their experience with weight training. In addition, participants were pre- and posttested on both upper and lower body strength tests by determining their one-repetition maximum on the lateral pulldown and leg press. During the 13-week period, participants took part in either a total-body weight training program supervised by one of two physical education staff or refrained from weight training completely. Statistical analysis of responses to the Body Cathexis Scale indicated that body image disturbed females who participated in weight training demonstrated greater improvements in body perception than body image disturbed females who did not participate in weight training (weight trainers M=150.20, SD=27.88: controls M=136.06, SD-21.50). Forty-one percent of weight training participants displayed sufficient body image improvements that they were no longer classified as being ?body image disturbed.? Weight trainers? body image disturbance mean scores dropped from 106.87 fSD=17.74) to 95.29 (?D=21.21). Improvements were also noted in both the upper and lower body strength of the weight trainers with gains in the maximum amount of weight lifted on the lateral pulldown (M=89.33 lbs., SD=15.30) and leg press (M=350.67 lbs., SD=73.69). The results of this study suggest that weight training is an effective method of improving body satisfaction of body image disturbed college females and may be useful in the treatment of this disorder.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [36]-40).


82 pages




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