Dissertations and Theses @ UNI

Award Winner

Recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - Second Place.

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Open Access Thesis


Body image; Women college students--Middle West--Attitudes; Women college students--Health and hygiene--Middle West; Recreation centers--Middle West--Psychological aspects;


The study aimed to investigate the influence that recreation center promotional messaging had on college females’ body perceptions. Body perceptions among young adult females have been linked to mental health (McKay, 2013; Miner-Rubino, Twenge, & Fredrickson, 2002). Female participants 18 to 25 years of age (N = 137, Mage = 20.41) from a mid-sized, Midwestern university completed two separate body perception questionnaires. These questionnaires assessed body appreciation (functionality) and body shame (objectification). Participants were divided into three groups and shown a collage of recreation center messages that were portraying one of three conditions (a) body functionality, (b) self-objectification, or (c) neutral images. Participants then completed post-collage surveys to capture acute responses in body perceptions based on the viewed collage. Results indicated that those who viewed the body functionality collage had a significant decrease in body shame scores from pre- to post- survey completion. These results support the importance of body functionality-focused messaging for young adult females, especially for university wellness and recreation centers looking to promote health and wellness services.

Year of Submission


Year of Award

2020 Award

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Kinesiology

First Advisor

Kimberly Hurley, Chair, Thesis Committee

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (v, 72 pages)



File Format