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Group one was sent to room and received instructions on the BMI measurements of height and weight. They were led individually into room , where a researcher measured their height and weight and recorded it on a blank piece of paper. As the participants finished with the BMI measurements, they waited, holding their measurement papers in room , for their entire group to finish.

When this entire group was assembled back in room , the ISE was then administered.

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They were asked to staple their measurement paper to the ISE packet, to place their completed surveys in an envelope near the door of the room as they left, and then to complete an entry form and place it in a designated box if they wished to be in the drawing. Meanwhile, group two had begun with the administration of the ISE first in room They also were measured and the data recorded in the same manner as group one, except their measurements were recorded on the back of their ISE packet.

They were instructed to place their completed survey packet into an envelope. They were also told how to enter the prize drawing as they exited. The same procedure was followed for the participants showing up at and pm. After all participants exited the final session, the surveys were gathered and the forms were shuffled together.

The names were drawn for the incentive prizes and the gift cards were mailed to the winners. The data from the surveys were then prepared for analysis. The data were analyzed using a Pearson r statistic. At the 0. The null hypothesis was retained, meaning there was not sufficient data to support a correlation between scores on the ISE and BMI as originally hypothesized. The results do not support our initial hypothesis that weight and self-esteem are correlated between sophomore and junior undergraduate females. Contrary to what we assumed, as BMI scores increase, the scores on the ISE did not increase significantly as they would if such a correlation existed.

Surprisingly, many of the participants with higher BMI scores in fact had higher self-esteem as shown through lower scores on the ISE. Perhaps because our sample was drawn from a Christian-affiliated institution, the females there might define their worth, and thereby self-esteem, from other factors regardless of their BMI. The result could possibly be influenced by factors not directly related to their religious faith, such as being from intact and supportive families and having an increased emphasis on internal beauty.

Much more research must be conducted on the relationship between these variables. Past research studies led us to hypothesize that a correlation existed, so we really need to examine why our study did not find support. Research such as Powell and Howard and Miller and Downey supported our initial hypothesis, much like the multiple other studies discussed in the introduction.

Free The Cost Of Competence Why Inequality Causes Depression Eating Disorders And Illness In Women

Perhaps there is something unique about this population as mentioned above, or our sampling technique could have been biased. Unique to this study is that we specifically examined the variables of BMI and self-esteem as determined by the ISE as opposed to the other self-esteem measures normally implemented. Most of the studies referenced in our introduction used the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale and the Self-Esteem Inventory, which measured self-esteem rather than problems with self-esteem.


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Also, most of the studies we observed had a wider spectrum of issues and did not limit their topic so greatly or limit their population to only sophomore and junior females at a small undergraduate institution. Whatever the case, self-esteem and weight issues among the young-adult female population are great concerns that must be further researched.

Free The Cost Of Competence Why Inequality Causes Depression Eating Disorders And Illness In Women

Our research had notable limitations. One limitation was related to the time period in which we conducted our survey. Students undergoing stress might compulsively eat more or have less time to exercise, impacting their BMI. Also, as spring approaches, students are more aware of their weight and appearance in preparation for wearing less clothing in the warmer weather.

A second limitation is the method of recruiting participants. We posted flyers in sophomore and junior residence halls as well as other academic facilities on campus and mailed campus-wide recruitment emails.

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We also specifically asked friends and fellow research classmates to participate. These friends and classmates made up a majority of our participants and many were somewhat aware of the nature of our study beforehand. This could have made our attempts at counterbalancing ineffective if participants were already aware of both measures. Specifically, we are concerned that some participants might have already known about the BMI measurement despite completing the ISE first.

Thus their self-esteem score might have been influenced by their nervousness or other emotions in anticipation of the BMI measurement. If participants are aware that they are being assessed, they are prone to respond differently or less truthfully. It was very clear that the ISE survey would be later scored and analyzed, so perhaps participants felt like they had to give certain responses despite the anonymity of the surveys.

It might have also been observable, especially to those participants who were our research classmates, what the ISE measured. If the participants assumed that the ISE measured self-esteem, they might record different responses to the questions based on what they imagined their score should be. If future research on this topic is to be conducted, researchers need to consider the delicate nature of the subject matter; anyone dealing with self-esteem needs to remember that each person is different.

It would be best if they could find means to administer the study on a larger scale. Perhaps different recruitment methods could be utilized in order to get a more diversified sample, particularly those who are unaware of the nature of the study.

Furthermore, it would be advantageous to not conduct the study at a time when the population is so busy or preparing for warmer weather. Although there is still much work to be in done in the field of BMI and self-esteem, the present study raises many other questions for future research. Hopefully, future research will provide a better understanding of the relationship between BMI and self-esteem.

Ackard, D. Overeating among adolescents: Prevalence and associations with weight-related characteristics and psychological health.

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