Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.


Balance, W.




The present study examined the relationship between eating-related attitudes and behaviors and the body figures chosen to present each participant's current body size, her ideal one, the one she judges to be most physically attractive to men, and the one she believes is most socially competent. One hundred and thirty-eight undergraduate women responded to the Figure Rating scale, the Eating Attitudes Test, and an open-ended question asking them to explain their choice of ideal body figure. Abnormal eating-related attitudes and behaviors were detected in 11.6% of the sample. Perceived current body size and the difference between current and ideal sizes emerged as the best predictors of eating-related attitudes and behaviors. As eating and weight concerns became more pathological, the discrepancy between ideal body size and that judged to be physically attractive increased. The discrepancy between the socially competent body figure and the ideal one remained unchanged. The three most common reasons given to account for the choice of ideal body figure were to obtain a healthy body, to increase self-confidence, and to be able to comfortably wear fashionable clothing. Future research should examine the social competence construct in more detail to further elucidate its relationship to eating-related attitudes and behaviors. The role of health, self-confidence, and fashion in the choice of ideal body figure could also be examined. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2479. Adviser: W. Balance. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.