Event Title

Body Preoccupation, Self-Worth, and Academic Achievement in College Students

Faculty Mentor

Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Location

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 114

Start Date

24-4-2015 3:20 PM

Description

College students (n = 93) responded to scales that measured willingness to persevere through difficult tasks (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007), areas on which self-worth was based (Crocker, Luhtanen, Cooper, & Bouvrette, 2003), desire for control (Burger & Cooper, 1979), body checking behaviors and preoccupation (Reas, White, & Grilo, 2006), and academic performance. Results revealed that higher rates of body checking related to higher grade point averages. One explanation is that adults who are motivated to excel want to succeed in both cognitive (grades) and physical (appearance) arenas; thus, they body check and do well in school. We also found that the more body checking the participants reported, the lower their self-esteem. Thus, another possibility is that people who body check are feeling poorly about themselves, as evidenced by the lower self-esteem reported by our participants, and are compensating by performing well in school. It may be easier to earn good grades than to change body type and appearance. The more participants engaged in body checking behaviors, the more they based their self-worth on competition, appearance, and others’ approval. Body checking behaviors did not predict perseverance or a desire for control. We compared men and women using an independent t-test. Women engaged in more body checking and based their self-worth more on appearance. Our study offers insight into yet another variable (body checking) that is potentially influencing, or being influenced, by college students’ academic performance. It also raised new questions for future research.

Comments

Presented at the Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA) Annual Meeting, March 2015

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Apr 24th, 3:20 PM

Body Preoccupation, Self-Worth, and Academic Achievement in College Students

DiGiorgio Campus Center, Room 114

College students (n = 93) responded to scales that measured willingness to persevere through difficult tasks (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly, 2007), areas on which self-worth was based (Crocker, Luhtanen, Cooper, & Bouvrette, 2003), desire for control (Burger & Cooper, 1979), body checking behaviors and preoccupation (Reas, White, & Grilo, 2006), and academic performance. Results revealed that higher rates of body checking related to higher grade point averages. One explanation is that adults who are motivated to excel want to succeed in both cognitive (grades) and physical (appearance) arenas; thus, they body check and do well in school. We also found that the more body checking the participants reported, the lower their self-esteem. Thus, another possibility is that people who body check are feeling poorly about themselves, as evidenced by the lower self-esteem reported by our participants, and are compensating by performing well in school. It may be easier to earn good grades than to change body type and appearance. The more participants engaged in body checking behaviors, the more they based their self-worth on competition, appearance, and others’ approval. Body checking behaviors did not predict perseverance or a desire for control. We compared men and women using an independent t-test. Women engaged in more body checking and based their self-worth more on appearance. Our study offers insight into yet another variable (body checking) that is potentially influencing, or being influenced, by college students’ academic performance. It also raised new questions for future research.