Are Mixed-Sex and Single-Sex Groups Equally Effective Across Males and Females? A Quasi-Experimental Investigation of a Cognitive Dissonance-Based Eating Disorder Prevention Program in Mixed-Sex High School Populations
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Degree Granting Department
Diana Rancourt, Ph.D.
Jennifer Bosson, Ph.D.
Brent Small, Ph.D.
J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.
adolescence, body image, disordered eating, preventive intervention, risk factors
The Body Project is a cognitive dissonance-based eating disorder (ED) preventive intervention program with ample empirical support among adolescent and undergraduate female samples. Recently, community stakeholders and data suggest that preventive efforts must also target body satisfaction and increasing ED symptomatology seen in males. The current study examined the efficacy of a male-only (MO), a mixed-sex (MS), and a traditional female-only (FO) Body Project program compared to a minimal attention control (AC) in a community sample. Participants included adolescents male and female students (N = 182) aged 13-19 years across three high school sites. Participants completed self-report measures assessing body satisfaction, thin-ideal internalization, ED symptom count, psychosocial impairment secondary to weight and shape concerns, and acceptability of the Body Project 4 High Schools program at baseline and post-intervention. Hierarchical linear regressions and generalized linear models were used to estimate main effects of condition and examine whether sex moderated condition effects on outcome variables. In single-sex groups, girls showed greater improvement in body satisfaction compared to AC, while boys did not show significant differences from AC. For boys and girls, MS was associated with improved body satisfaction compared to AC, while its impact on other risk factors was largely non-significant. Effect sizes are presented as a measure of clinical significance. These results contribute to existing Body Project data and provide preliminary empirical support of the applicability of the well-established dissonance-based preventive intervention to adolescent boys.
Scholar Commons Citation
Verzijl, Christina L., "Are Mixed-Sex and Single-Sex Groups Equally Effective Across Males and Females? A Quasi-Experimental Investigation of a Cognitive Dissonance-Based Eating Disorder Prevention Program in Mixed-Sex High School Populations" (2018). Graduate Theses and Dissertations.