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ERIC Number: ED533504
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 141
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-7038-0
Perceptions of Body Image and Psychosocial Development: An Examination of First-Year Female College Students
Buckley, Jennifer Lynne
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northern Illinois University
The purpose of this study was to help higher education practitioners and researchers better understand the role that body image plays in first-year traditional-aged college females' development of physical competence and also provide new insights regarding the role that body image plays in the psychosocial development of first-year traditional-aged females. The conceptual framework of this study relied on three main components: (a) perceptions of body image, (b) psychosocial development, and (c) Chickering's theory of identity development, specifically vector one (developing competence). Although existing literature illustrates that psychosocial development occurs along Chickering's vectors during the first year, little is known about how students develop physical competence as outlined by Chickering in vector one. This study used a basic, interpretive qualitative method. Study participants were 14 first-year traditional-aged college females at a small, private, Midwestern university. All data were collected for this study through interviews. A constant comparison of data was used to identify emerging themes and categories. From this process, a set of themes was derived that encompassed first-year traditional-aged females' perceptions of body image and psychosocial development. Four major themes that emerged from the data: (a) participants' definition of body image, (b) participants' classification of their own body image, (c) participants' definition of self, and (d) role of body image on identity development. All of the participants in this study believed that a positive relationship exists between their body image and developing competence. Some participants believed their negative body image hindered their development of physical competence, whereas other participants believed when they were physically competent at athletically related activities, they perceived their bodies more favorably resulting in a more positive body image. These findings established that a relationship can exist between body image and the development of physical competence for first-year, traditional-aged female freshmen. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A