Date of Award
This study investigated whether romantic, parental, and peer relationship satisfaction influence eating behaviors and alcohol consumption through the self-concept. To test this hypothesis, 251 undergraduate students from the University of Mississippi completed an online survey in return for class credit. Participants first answered questions regarding their relationships with their parents, romantic partners, and close friends. These questions were adapted from the Couple's Satisfaction Index (Funk & Rogge, 2007). Next, to assess the self-concept, self-esteem, and objectification participants completed the Robson Self Concept Questionnaire (Robson, 1989), The Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale (Rosenberg,1965), and The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale (McKinley, & Hyde, 1996). Participants then completed the Eating Attitudes Test-26 (EAT-26; Garner, Olmsted, Bohr, & Garfinkel, 1982), and The Daily Drinking Questionnaire (Murphy, McDevitt-Murphy, & Barnett 2005). Finally, participants completed a demographics questionnaire. Conditional process modeling techniques revealed that, for women, close relationships indirectly influence a person's eating behaviors, with higher relationship satisfaction leading to a higher self-concept and in turn fewer disordered eating behaviors. This pattern was strongest for romantic relationship satisfaction in relation to the entire EAT-26 scale. For parental and friend relationships, there was no initial direct effect on eating behavior, but there was an indirect path through the self-concept to influence eating behavior (the full EAT-26). Self-Esteem was highly correlated with the self-concept and demonstrated similar results. These results suggest that relationship satisfaction can influence eating behavior through the self-concept. Looking at both male and female participants in terms of alcohol usage, no relationship appeared between close relationship satisfaction, the self-concept, and alcohol usage.
Fowler, Erin Davis, "Close Relationships, The Self-Concept, and Health Behaviors in College Students" (2017). Honors Theses. 326.