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ERIC Number: EJ952563
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0744-8481
Freshmen Women and the "Freshman 15": Perspectives on Prevalence and Causes of College Weight Gain
Smith-Jackson, TeriSue; Reel, Justine J.
Journal of American College Health, v60 n1 p14-20 2012
Objective: Freshman weight gain has been assessed using quantitative inquiry, but this qualitative study allowed for an in-depth exploration of freshmen women's experiences surrounding body image, nutrition, and exercise. The purpose of this study was to better understand the impact and explanations for the "Freshman 15." Participants: Freshmen college women, aged 18 to 19 years. Methods: Participants (N = 235) were initially surveyed about body dissatisfaction. Thirty participants were selected for semistructured interviews (conducted in March 2008) using a criterion-based, multilevel stratified random sampling. Results: Freshmen women reported intense fears about gaining weight. Women most commonly attributed freshman weight gain to newly found food independence, social comparison with peers, and the influence of friends and family. Women frequently cited eating habit changes to explain college weight gain. Conclusions: Comparison among females was framed using Festinger's social comparison theory. Despite being cautious about food, females described freshman weight gain as inevitable. (Contains 2 tables.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A