Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiThomaso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Stacey Cahn, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Anthony Fabricatore, PhD


Aim: To examine the factors that lead to attrition and success in a weight management program for patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The current study specifically examines the effect of quality of life, expected weight loss, self-esteem, and early weight loss on attrition and success rates. Methods: Archival data from a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Weight and Eating Disorders were used. Seventy-nine overweight and obese subjects with type 2 diabetes participated in a lifestyle modification program over 40 weeks. Logistic regression analyses were performed to explore the relationship between early weight loss, expected weight loss, self-esteem, and quality of life on attrition and success rates in this population.

Results: Subjects who lost the greatest amount of weight at week five, were significantly more likely to achieve a 5% weight reduction at week 40 and were also significantly less likely to drop out of the program before 40 weeks. No significant relationship was found between self-esteem, expected weight loss, and quality of life in this population.

Conclusion: Overweight and obese subjects with type 2 diabetes who show early success in a weight management programs are more likely to stay in the program longer and achieve a significant reduction in weight. Professionals working with this population should encourage early weight loss success (as opposed to concentrating only on long term reductions) as well as provide additional support to patients who are struggling early in the program in order to reduce attrition rates and to increase the likelihood of success.