Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

J. Kevin Thompson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vicky Phares, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph Vandello, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jamie Goldenberg, Ph.D.


body image, depression, eating disorder, motherhood, postpartum, weight


Body image, eating disturbance, and depressive symptomatology have been examined extensively in the general population. The assessment of these variables within the postpartum period has also been a target of recent research. Unfortunately, no existing studies have examined the intercorrelations among these factors in mothers of young children, despite increasing media pressure for moms to maintain a slim, pre-pregnancy body. The current study examined predictors of body dissatisfaction, eating disturbance, and depressive symptoms in mothers of children aged 0-5. Simple correlations were followed by a series of linear multiple regressions incorporating sociocultural predictors alongside covariates identified in the extant literature. Findings suggest that sociocultural factors are significantly related to body image, eating disturbance, and depressive symptomatology in the mothers sampled, and BMI, perceived stress, and current exercise status accounted for significant variance in study outcomes. Limitations, implications and significance are addressed in turn.