Date of Graduation

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Nursing

Advisor

Barta, Kathleen

Reader

Smith-Blair, Nancy J

Second Reader

Osborne, Cara

Abstract

Body dissatisfaction is becoming a phenomenon in Western culture. Body dissatisfaction is designed for this study as being unhappy with one’s own body, leading to negative mental and physical conditions. In order to test levels of body dissatisfaction and a possible correlation between peer influence and body dissatisfaction, a sample of college sorority women at a southern university were given a survey dealing with peer influence utilizing appearance conversations with friends in one category, and body dissatisfaction in the other. The two scales utilized included The Appearance Conversations with Friends Scales as well as the Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction with Body Parts Scale. Participants anonymously provided responses to these surveys. Descriptive statistics revealed the Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction with Body Parts Scale to have a mean score of 2.9962 showing that over all, the sample had higher levels of satisfaction with body parts versus dissatisfaction. The scale showed a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .899 indicating high reliability. The Appearance Conversation with Friends Scale revealed a mean score of 2.4507 indicating that peers sometimes talk with each other about appearance. The scale produced a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of .836 indicating high reliability. Data Analysis led to the discovery of a negative correlation of -.197 between Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction with Body Parts and Appearance Conversations with Friends. This means that as the frequency of conversations over appearance increased, body satisfaction levels decreased. In conclusion, there is a negative correlation between peer influence and body dissatisfaction amongst college sorority women. It is important to understand the life altering concept of body dissatisfaction so health professionals can stop the mental degradation before it progresses to what could be a deadly method of compensation for the “perfect body”.

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