Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Second Advisor

Steve Bedi

Third Advisor

Scott Gaier


In 2010 the American Psychological Association (APA) developed a task force to research the sexualization of girls. The APA found that eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression were among the most prevalent mental health issues for women. The APA suggested that the trends of sexualization, mass media’s impact on culture, and the growing phenomenon of diets and weight loss supplements and medications helped to create unattainable ideas. These influences were found to have a significant relationship between women and dissatisfaction with their physical form. Because of the faith-based nature of the institution studied and the evidence that high levels of perfectionism have the potential to lead to many of the issues the APA cited, this research was conducted. The study supports other current research. The concept that high levels of perfectionism lead to unrealistic expectations explains low levels of body satisfaction, a focus on grooming techniques, and weight anxiety. The possibility of eating disorders, as common with those facing high levels of overweight preoccupation. The focus on dieting was also suggested by the predictive value found between the order and discrepancy subscales of the Almost Perfect Scale and the overweight preoccupation subscale of the Multidimensional Body-Self Relations Questionnaire. Due to the inability to meet unrealistic expectations, perfectionism can lead to feelings of unworthiness and failure, particularly with regard to the physical form of female students.