Term of Award

Winter 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 1

Thresa Yancey

Committee Member 2

Larry Locker


Determining vulnerability factors to eating disorders is imperative due to the life-threatening nature associated with them. Perfectionism is noted as a precursor and maintaining factor in eating disorder pathology (Fairburn, Cooper, & Shafran, 2003). However, the link between perfectionism and eating disorder pathology may be better understood by investigating potential mediating variables. Examining motivational strategies for establishing self-esteem could provide beneficial information regarding these relationships (Johnson & Blom, 2007). The purpose of the current study was to explore the relations between perfectionistic self-presentation and features of eating disorder pathology via contingent self-esteem. Data were collected from 383 university undergraduate students who completed measures examining perfectionistic self-presentation, eating attitudes, body shape, social anxiety, and contingent self-esteem. Results indicate that perfectionistic self-presentation is directly related to eating disorder risk. Additionally, these variables are indirectly related to each other through relation-based self-esteem, but not competence-based self-esteem. Overall, these findings provide useful information in the treatment of eating disorder pathology through the enhancement of general self-esteem. By use of interventions involving self-compassion, individuals with eating disorder pathology may shift their focus from desiring approval of others and learn to accept themselves.

Research Data and Supplementary Material