First Advisor

Henry, Melissa L.

Document Type


Date Created



The purpose of this study was to advance knowledge in the area of health behavior change maintenance, specifically weight loss maintenance, and develop a substantive theory of successful weight loss maintenance in adults. Using classical grounded theory methodology, the researcher conducted in-depth interviews with 12 adult men and women who lost at least 10% of their body weight and had maintained the weight loss for at least one year. Analysis of the interviews revealed a basic social process called Transforming Self, wherein participants described a process through which they designed and made significant lifestyle changes that resulted in weight loss and maintenance. Three stages of change and significant factors associated with each stage emerged from the data. In addition, critical junctures and important contextual factors thaat supported or impeded successful weight loss and maintenance were described. Social processes were similar among study demographics of gender and age. This model has implications for nurses and other health care professionals seeking ways to support individuals in weight loss efforts.

Abstract Format



Nursing--Research; Weight loss; Grounded theory


185 pages

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