Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jeffrey R. Stowell


Society’s obsession with an idealized thin body type has led to many individuals to seek several different, often harmful, methods to reach their body goals. Current research shows links between body image and self-esteem as well as that between dieting and binge eating-with many researchers finding that extreme dieting can lead to binge eating. The aim of this research was to assess the relationships between body image, dieting, binge eating and self-esteem to understand the ways these factors interact with each other. For this purpose, 60 female participants aged 18-26 years were recruited from Eastern Illinois University and asked to fill out four surveys measuring body image, dieting, binge eating and self-esteem. Results of the surveys suggest that under the certain circumstances, the relationship between body image and dieting was mediated by self-esteem. Furthermore, the relationship between dieting and self-esteem was mediated by binge eating.