Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Ginette Blackhart

Committee Members

Stacey Williams, Julia Dodd, Diana Morelen


In the United States, eating disorders affect approximately 20 million women annually (National Institutes of Health, 2011). With such a high prevalence, ensuring help-seeking in individuals with eating disorders is critical. A previously-supported eating disorder prevention approach includes cognitive dissonance intervention (CDI). CDI’s purpose is to change a person’s behavior to reflect their attitude or cognition. While true self intervention has not been with previously been applied to eating disorders, it has been efficacious in improving psychological risk factors associated with eating disorder risk. The current study combined true self and CDI to test a more holistic prevention tool (i.e. combining psychological and cognitive approaches to prevention). Specifically, the current study compared the combination prevention to true self intervention only, CDI only, and a control condition to examine outcomes of body satisfaction, eating disorder pathology, psychological outcomes, and help-seeking intentions. Overall, evidence did not support the preventions’ combined prevention superiority to control within the entire sample. When exploring individuals at risk of an eating disorder, however, CDI was significantly better than true self in reducing binge episodes and self-esteem. Furthermore, the combination prevention was significantly better than true self at increasing self-esteem. The following results warrant more research exploring other potential preventions to increase positive psychological outcomes. Moreover, future research should explore more options for increasing help-seeking intentions.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons