Term of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

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


Department of Health and Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Brandonn Harris

Committee Member 1

Jody Langdon

Committee Member 2

Amy Jo Riggs


College is a transition period in a young adult’s life in which eating disorder symptomology is especially prevalent. Additionally, motivation-based factors such as goal orientation and motivational climate can influence these eating disorder-like behaviors, especially in a physical activity setting. The present study aimed to examine how goal orientation, motivational climate, and exercise could be used to predict a college students’ eating disorder symptomology. Participants included 276 college-aged males and females from a university in the southeastern United States. These participants had experience using the university recreation activity center and were recruited from a required healthful living course. Each participant was asked to fill out demographic information as well as five questionnaires. Data was analyzed using multiple regression analyses, with R coefficients being used to evaluate prediction models. It was anticipated that certain variables from an individual’s goal orientation and motivational climate would account for a significant amount of variance among eating disorder symptomology. Namely, it was hypothesized that both ego orientation and an ego-involving climate would significantly predict eating disorder symptomology in college-aged students. Additionally, it was expected that both task orientation and a task- or care-involving climate would not significantly predict eating disorder-like behavior. Finally, it was hypothesized that higher levels of reported exercise would correspond to increased eating disorder symptomology. The results of the current study suggested that goal orientation was the only significant predictor of eating disorder symptomology, with task orientation and goal orientation together accounting for 2.5%, task orientation by itself accounting for 1.3% of the variance, and ego orientation by itself accounting for 1.2% of the variance.

Research Data and Supplementary Material