Lillian Ellis

Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School


Committee Member

Chong Man Chow, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Claudia Drossel, Ph.D., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Karen Saules, Ph.D.


Unhealthy body change behaviors, such as eating disorder symptoms and muscle dysmorphia symptoms, can cause serious harm in individuals’ lives, impacting physical and emotional health. Body change behaviors have been shown to be associated with body dissatisfaction and body talk. However, individuals’ body talk with their romantic partner has not been well examined. The current study investigated the relationships between body talk with a romantic partner, gender, and body dissatisfaction with body change strategies, using a hierarchical regression that included direct relationships and interaction effects. Participants were college students who took an online study for class credit. Body dissatisfaction and body talk with a romantic partner were significant predictors of unhealthy body change behaviors, though they did not significantly interact with each other. Gender was found to interact only with body dissatisfaction with muscularity, suggesting that many of the relationships might not be fundamentally different for men and women.