Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Celine Thompson, PhD

Second Advisor

Stephen Poteau, PhD

Third Advisor

William La Valle, PsyD


Body image (BI) is a complex concept that seems to be related to self-assessed health (SAH), in other words, how an individual perceives his or her health. Negative BI does seem to influence adaptive and maladaptive health behaviors. For example, women with negative BI are more likely to smoke cigarettes and have more difficulty with smoking cessation than their counterparts with less negative BI. Previous studies have explored the relationship between select variables, and the samples have consisted of mostly adolescents and European samples. The current study aimed to determine if a relationship exists between these variables and to examine if negative BI and SAH predict health behaviors. Currently, the literature examining whether BI and SAH predict health behaviors is sparse. One hundred eighty-nine participants (155 female, 33 male) were recruited online and completed the study. Results demonstrated a significant negative relationship between BI and SAH and no significant relationship between BI and health behaviors. Additional findings included gender having a statistically significant effect on BI, but not on SAH and health behaviors. SAH was also found to be a significant predictor of health behaviors, unlike BI, which was not found to be a significant predictor variable. Lastly, BI and SAH were not found to be significant predictors of genderspecific medical nonadherence. Research and clinical implications of the findings and future directions are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons