Title page for ETD etd-05082009-154819

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Fox, Courtney
Author's Email Address smudge@vt.edu
URN etd-05082009-154819
Title Relationship between Semi-Starvation Symptoms, Self-Efficacy, and Weight Loss
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stephens, Robert S. Committee Chair
Cooper, Lee D. Committee Member
Winett, Richard A. Committee Member
  • neuroticism
  • self-efficacy
  • physical symptomatology
  • weight loss
Date of Defense 2009-05-05
Availability restricted
The purpose of this study was to explore whether overweight college dieters, engaged in self-structured weight loss efforts, experienced physical symptomatology that has previously been associated with severe caloric restriction. The relationships between physical symptomatology, self-efficacy, and future dieting behavior were also investigated. Forty college students (21 female, Mage = 19.58 years, SD= 1.85) self-reported caloric intake and completed self-efficacy measures and physical symptom reports for three weeks. Results indicated that weekly physical symptom reports were not associated with caloric deficit and did not predict future dieting behavior. Physical symptoms were negatively related to self-efficacy for dieting and exercise as predicted, but in several analyses, higher self-efficacy actually predicted less calorie restriction. Physical symptom reports were predicted by trait neuroticism and neuroticism was also significantly and negatively associated with eating and exercise self-efficacy. Results raised issues about the accuracy of caloric restriction reporting and suggested that personality characteristics may have an important impact on an individual’s perception of dieting experiences and levels of self-efficacy during dieting.
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