Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Caridad F. Brito


This study sought to examine the effects of viewing a Pro-Eating disorder website and how the effects of this website vary across women of different races, what impact the website's racial content has, and what impact the ethnic identity of the participant has on the negative effects of viewing the website. In order to examine the effect of website content, two different Pro-Eating disorder websites were used - one containing images of Black women and one with images of Caucasian women. 93 Black and Caucasian female undergraduate students were recruited to participate in the research study, and the women viewed one of two Pro-Eating disorder websites - one website containing photos of Caucasian women and one website containing images of Black minority women - and were asked to complete surveys to examine their positive and negative affect before and after viewing the website. Additional surveys administered included the Stunkard Body Image Scale, the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, and the Rosenburg Self-Esteem Scale to examine further effects of viewing the websites. Results indicated that there was not a significant difference between the scores on the PANAS negative affect scores of the Black women participants and Caucasian participants when viewing the different websites, nor was there a significant difference between the scores on the Stunkard body image scale scores of the Black women participants or the Caucasian women participants. However, the results of a T-Test for independent samples also indicated that the self-esteem of women is affected by the race of the women portrayed on Pro-Eating Disorder website images.