Amber Green


Bardos, Achilles

Committee Member

Hulac, David

Committee Member

Johnson, Brian D.

Committee Member

Peterson, Eric


School Psychology School Psychology


University of Northern Colorado

Type of Resources


Place of Publication

Greeley (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



202 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Positive evaluations of one’s body, or positive body image, is associated with healthy outcomes. Conversely, negative evaluations of one’s body, or negative body image, is a significant risk factor for unhealthy outcomes including eating disorders. Yet, these constructs have not been explored conjointly or in individuals with self-reported levels of positive and negative body image. The goal of the current study was to examine associations among positive, negative, and average levels of body image and a set of participant characteristics including body mass index (BMI), fitness levels, psychological well-being, and attitudes/behaviors toward social media in emerging adults (N = 439). Unique to this study, only individuals with self-reported levels of positive (n = 60) and negative (n = 78) body image were included to examine positive and negative body image. Participant characteristics that contributed to body image within the negative and positive body image groups were not significant; however, factors that had the greatest contribution differed between groups. When all levels of body image among all 439 participants were examined, those with higher rates of body image were associated with higher rates of psychological well-being, higher fitness levels/attitudes toward fitness, and lower BMI. Although the effect size was small, body image levels varied by gender with females reporting lower levels of body image than males. Although speculative due to the sample size, interesting trends were observed among five gender non-conforming individuals. These individuals, when compared to males and females, reported lower mean scores on the measures of negative body image and psychological well-being. The results suggested body image is best conceptualized as distinct constructs of positive, negative, and average with varying contributing factors and should be studied as such. Future research on positive body image should include those individuals with positive body image. Similarly, research on negative body image should include those individuals with negative body image to better understand what factors contribute to these constructs and to provide targeted interventions to increase positive body image and decrease negative body image.

Degree type


Degree Name


Local Identifiers

Green _ unco_0160D_10671

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Copyright is held by the author.