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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3392

Title: A theoretical investigation of the role of implicit internalization of the thin ideal in freshman weight gain, body image dissatisfaction, and disordered eating
Authors: Juarascio, Adrienne Sarah
Keywords: Clinical psychology;Eating disorders;Body image
Issue Date: 26-Oct-2010
Abstract: The freshman year of college has been identified as a period of time where some students experience drastic changes to their eating behaviors, body image, and weight. One factor that is predictive of changes in these variables is internalization of the thin ideal. Self-reported internalization has been shown to prospectively predict increases in disordered eating, body image dissatisfaction, and reduced food consumption. Low internalization has predicted weight gain. However, given the limitation of self report and previous research demonstrating the additional predictive validity implicit measurement provides, it may be important to measure internalization of the thin ideal using an implicit paradigm. The Implicit Association Test is the most common implicit measurement technique. However this test is associational in nature, which is only one aspect of human cognition. The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure focuses on the relational nature of human cognition, and therefore might be a better tool to measure internalization of the thin ideal. The relationship between implicit internalization of the thin ideal and increases in disordered eating, body image dissatisfaction, and weight may be best measured by using a college freshman population, given the large amount of change that occurs in these variables during the course of the year. Results of the current, longitudinal study indicate that weight, disorder eating and body image dissatisfaction increased during the freshman year, and that these were predicted by implicit internalization of the thin ideal at the beginning of the year. Moreover, the new implicit measure was predictive above and beyond any predictive ability of the explicit measure (which was relatively limited). Results indicate that the thin ideal IRAP can successfully predict changes in many variables of interest at the freshman year of college, and suggest it may be a beneficial screening tool to assess at risk freshman. This study also highlights the need for additional implicit measures in the realm of body image and disordered eating. Future research is needed to replicate and extend these findings.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1860/3392
Appears in Collections:Drexel Theses and Dissertations

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