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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Peggy J. Cantrell

Committee Members

James R. Bitter, Jon B. Ellis


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of gender role and eating disorders characteristics. The Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, and Body Dissatisfaction subscales from the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (EDI-2) were used to examine eating disorder characteristics (Garner, 1991). The Personal Description Questionnaire (PDQ) was used to examine gender roles based on masculine positive, masculine negative, feminine positive, and feminine negative (Antill, Cunningham, Russell, & Thompson, 1981). The two independent variable of this study were gender (male, female) and gender role (masculine positive, masculine negative, feminine positive, feminine negative). The dependent variables consisted of three subscales of the EDI-2 which were Drive for Thinness, Bulimia, and Body Dissatisfaction. It was purported that gender roles are related to the development of eating disorders; women who exhibit exaggerated masculine or feminine gender roles have been found to have an increase in prevalence of eating disorders. Men who exhibited characteristics of the feminine gender role have also exhibited a higher incidence of eating disorders, especially those in the homosexual community.

Participants included 232 individuals (102 men, 130 women). Two hundred one of the participants were Caucasian and 131 of the subjects were freshmen. One hundred and ninety eight of the subjects were single. Subjects were students enrolled in undergraduate psychology courses at East Tennessee State University. The Personal Description Questionnaire Form A, three subscales from the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 and a demographic questionnaire with items to assess age, gender, race, academic year, and marital status were administered to all participants.

This study, employing a 2 (Gender) x 4 (Gender Roles) independent groups factorial design, looked at the four levels of gender roles and two levels of gender. Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was used in analyzing each dependent variable on all hypotheses at the .05 level of significance.

Results of the MANOVA revealed main effects for sex and gender role identification. One interaction effect was significant. Univariate statistics (ANOVAs) were used to analyze the dependent variables on all hypothesis. The results revealed two main effects for sex and two for gender role identification.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.