Kiri A. Faul

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Counseling Psychology & Community Services


The purpose of this study was to examine the specific nature of the interaction and contribution of variables related to body image in a nonclinical population using a path analysis. This paper discusses various theoretical models and variables in the development and maintenance of body image dissatisfaction and eating concerns. Several variables and personality traits have been suggested as etiological factors in the development of body image dissatisfaction. These variables stem from different theoretical models. The five theoretical models discussed are: (1) Developmental, (2) Social-comparison, (3), Self-discrepancy, (4) Self-objectification, and (5) Feminist theory. From these broad theoretical models, many variables are viewed as risk factors for developing and maintaining eating and body image concerns. Six of the more prominent variables are explored, including sociocultural influence, family environment, perfectionism, gender-role orientation, stress, and guilt/shame. My hypothesized path model consists of two contextual (exogenous) variables and five mediating (endogenous) variables. The two variables of family and media influences are hypothesized to be the strongest path variables to body image dissatisfaction. Therefore, the exogenous variables are hypothesized to have an effect on the mediating variables, but are not affected by the other variables.