Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Arthur Freeman, Ed.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Steven Godin, Ph.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Stuart Badner, Psy.D.

Third Advisor

Anthony L. Drago, Ed.D.


Wrestling is unique in that it is the only sport that requires opponents to be matched by weight. Because two athletes at an almost equal weight compete against each other, wrestlers participate at the lowest weight class possible, which frequently leads wrestlers to engage in unhealthy and dangerous weight loss practices. Social norms theory suggests that much of an individual's behavior is influenced by perceptions of how members of a social group think and act. If these perceptions are inaccurate, and over-estimates of the unhealthy behaviors of others occur, an individual is likely to engage in such behaviors himself. One hundred and twenty-eight wrestlers from northeastern Pennsylvania public high schools completed a number of surveys about their weight management practices and their perception of their teammates' weight management practices. Principal-Component factor analyses were utilized to identify common factors that explain the pattern of correlations within the set of variables. Bivariate correlations and subsequent Paired-sample T-tests and independent T -tests were utilized to compare factor dimensions. As expected, this study demonstrated that scholastic wrestlers do utilize health-relevant weight management and perceive that their teammates engage in such behaviors as well.