Faculty Sponsor

Rachel Murray


Arts and Sciences


Social Work

ORCID Identifier(s)


Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-29-2021


For many people, negative feelings towards one’s own self and physical appearance seem as if it is an integral part of who they are. Research has suggested that harboring these negative feelings over time can have a detrimental effect on mental health. However, negative feelings of body image do not have to be permanent. This study aims to explore possible ways to increase feelings of satisfaction with body image. Using a single-subject design, the study collected data from the subject over a period of eight weeks. Before beginning the intervention, the subject answered a short questionnaire that assessed body satisfaction on a numerical scale. This questionnaire was adapted from the Body Image Scale by Hopwood et al., which has been tested and validated. For the first four weeks, the subject engaged in physical activity three times per week. At the end of each week, the subject took the same body image questionnaire, and the results were recorded. For the next four weeks, the subject was tasked with writing one positive affirmation about themselves per day. Again, the questionnaire was administered at the end of each week, and data was recorded. At the end of the study, the results were analyzed and indicated that the intervention was successful. The subject’s body image score increased from the start to the finish of the study. The results indicate that engaging in physical activity and proactive, holistic positive thinking has an impact on perceptions of self and body image for this subject.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Ashlee Barton is a senior Social Work and Psychology double major who someday hopes to work with students in schools while integrating mental health awareness and treatment practices to the setting. She has been an intern for both an elementary school and health clinic since her time at Valparaiso University and has found her passion in the field.