Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Dianne Timm

Thesis Committee Member

Melanie Mills

Thesis Committee Member

Jennifer L. Sipes


This study sought to identify how college women's image of self and their bodies are impacted by their peers, as well as by television and print media. The findings were based on qualitative research methodology by conducting in-depth interviews with four college-aged women at a rural, Midwestern university.

The findings were not substantially different from other researchers findings on women in previous literature. The women in this study faced similar problems that other women had encountered before them: peer influence, body image dissatisfaction, their own college development path, and how they perceive their body image in comparison to other women. It was found in this study that the women had an awareness of how the media could negatively affect their body image, but ultimately their peers influenced the women more than any other factor questioned in the study.