Date of Award

2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jarry, Josée

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

The goal of this study was to obtain empirical evidence of secrecy of disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, and body checking among non-clinical women. Female undergraduate students without a history of eating disorders (N = 212) completed questionnaires online and again in the lab a week later under the pretense that their responses were private or would be public. Changes in self-report from the online questionnaires to those completed in the lab indicated secrecy of the relevant construct. The results revealed that women are secretive about their desire to be thin, concerns with food intake, bulimic symptoms, body dissatisfaction, and body checking, but not about dietary restraint. Generally, women for whom appearance is a defining feature of the self, and who are low in fear of negative evaluation tended to be most secretive. Thus, it these women may have been most motivated and willing to engage in impression management.

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