Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP

First Advisor

Michelle Lent, PhD

Second Advisor

Barbara A Golden, PsyD, ABPP

Third Advisor

Raymond Carvajal, PsyD


Bariatric surgery (weight-loss surgery) remains the most effective long-term treatment for obesity, resulting in improved obesity-related comorbidities and increased life expectancy. There remains, however, a limited understanding of predictors and patientlevel factors associated with insufficient weight loss and psychological dysfunction. Body esteem, or feelings of self-worth about one’s body and appearance, is a significant concern for individuals undergoing weight-loss surgery, although the relationship between body esteem and weight loss is complex. Indeed, there is a subset of patients who experience suboptimal weight loss and poor psychological outcomes after undergoing bariatric surgery. This retrospective, longitudinal study examined the relationship between pre-operative body esteem and post-operative outcomes, including weight change, post-operative body esteem, depressive symptoms, and adherence to the post-operative diet and vitamin regimen, at one year. Results indicated that body esteem and depressive symptoms improve following weight-loss surgery, although level of preoperative body esteem did not predict weight change or adherence to the post-operative diet and vitamin regimen. This study did not directly connect body esteem to weight loss following surgery, although improved body esteem could be important for optimizing post-operative psychological health and weight loss. These findings may lend support to patient and provider decisions in clinical care for bariatric surgery and potentially improve post-surgical outcomes.