Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Julia Dodd

Committee Members

Ginni Blackhart, Jill Stinson


Researchers have found that self-esteem and weight status can impact numerous aspects of an individual’s life, including reproductive health issues. However, there has been limited research specifically examining how self-esteem may affect female sexual functioning. The current study aims to examine whether self-esteem is a significant predictor of sexual functioning, and whether this relationship may change as a function of women’s weight status. Participants consisted of 730 women ranging from 18 to 49 years of age, who were recruited through an online questionnaire. Results indicate that higher levels of self-esteem predict better sexual functioning and weight status was found to be a significant moderator of this relationship; specifically, self-esteem was only found to predict sexual functioning for individuals at average or below-average weight status, and not for individuals who were of higher-than-average weight status. Findings have potential implications for physical and mental health professionals working with individuals trying to improve their sexual functioning.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.