Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Wesley D. Allan


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a distressing condition that involves a preoccupation with a perceived defect(s) in appearance. Despite the importance of early identification, it is often misdiagnosed. The literature suggests that issues with diagnosis may be because BDD is typically defined by the single symptom of dysmorphic concern (i.e., over concern with an imagined or slight defect in physical appearance). Dysmorphic concern is insufficient to fully characterize the disturbance. This study used exploratory factor analysis to identify symptom clusters from four well-known BDD measures completed by 457 undergraduate students. The extracted content suggested the following symptoms: (a) Dysmorphic Concern, (b) Social Anxiety and Avoidance, and (c) Appearance Investment which differ slightly from the hypothesized factors of Dysmorphic Obsessions, Compulsions, and Avoidance. Likely explanations for the results and suggestions for future research are presented.