Student Research Projects

Effects on Students of Education about Psychology and Eating Disorders

Student Tempe Martens ‘14
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Psychology
Course Independent Research


Eating disorders are one of the most prevalent and disruptive of psychological conditions, particularly in adolescent and college-aged women. The human suffering and economic costs of eating disorders and their treatment endorses a need for prevention and intervention before disordered eating behaviors become fully entrenched. Literature suggests that a college course provides a viable and effective form to reduce disordered eating behaviors, negative body image, thin ideal internalization, and body comparison while enhancing media literacy and self-acceptance. This research asked whether a 3-week winter session psychology course could educate students on the topic of eating disorders and act as prevention or intervention to disordered eating behaviors. Results found statistically significant reductions in disordered eating behavior, thin ideal internalization, physical appearance comparison, self-objectification, body dissatisfaction, and body checking. This research suggests the continued use of college courses as prevention or intervention for eating disorder behaviors in college students.