Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Educational Psychology

First Committee Member

Lisa Bendixen

Number of Pages



This study examined whether groups of adolescent girls, who society defines as having a positive body image, actually feel positive about their own body image and how they express it culturally. Cheerleaders and dancers were chosen as accessible groups that embodied the ideal body image as defined by popular Western teen culture. Qualitative analysis was conducted using interviews, observations, and focus groups to determine how these groups felt about their body image and how they defined a positive image. The influence of attitudes towards perfectionism, perceived control over the body, and the desire to follow "healthy" habits all contributed to how the participants defined a positive body image. All of the participants stated they felt positive about their bodies, but wished to change their perceived bodily flaws in order to feel better about themselves. Increased confidence and more revealing clothing were stated as cultural examples of a positive body image.


Adolescent; Body; Dancers; Descriptive; Female; Image; Positive; Study

Controlled Subject

Educational psychology; Developmental psychology; Women's studies; Dance; Psychophysiology

File Format


File Size

1904.64 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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