Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis



First Advisor

Alicia Stapp

Second Advisor

Laura Prior

Third Advisor

Richard Jowers

Relational Format



Adolescents experience a broad range of physical and emotional changes and begin looking to peers and social media to determine what their bodies should look like through the lens of society. This process of adolescents beginning to visualize themselves is known as body image. These include physical competence, motivation, self-esteem, and confidence through the way the teachers interact with students, develop positive learning spaces, and develop and implement intentional instruction and programs, thus, providing a space where adolescents begin to develop a healthy perception of their own body (Kerner et al., 2017). However, the breadth of literature on body image, what variables in the school setting impact body image, and how they affect adolescents within the classroom (general and physical education) reveal minimal studies in relation to the impact teachers have on how students view themselves. Therefore, this study explored physical education teachers’ experiences with body image and their perceptions and experiences with addressing and/or teaching body image in their classrooms and/or across the school setting through a qualitative approach. Physical education teachers were interviewed and three themes emerged. These were categorized as follows: (a) promoting positive body image through health and physical education initiatives and pedagogy; (b) barriers to teaching body image; and (c) shifting the mindset to body positivity. These findings result in a better understanding of ways in which schools and teachers can promote and encourage body positivity, leading to a more positive view of one’s own body.

Accessibility Status

Searchable text

Creative Commons License

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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.