Date of Award

Spring 2021

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Randolph Lee


Body image ideals and their relationship to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders have been widely studied in psychology. Having an ideal body is a relevant topic for many young men and women. Through social media, peer influence, and our own expectations, we form an idea of the ideal body. Most often, most people are not satisfied with their own bodies and continually strive to get to their ideal bodies. The purpose of this study was to investigate young adults' body image ideals to identify some of the misconceptions that are relevant today and understand the influence of peers and romantic or sexual partners on individuals' own body image. For this current study, the goal was to understand the relationship between body image ideals and eating, exercise, and social behavior. The current study investigated Trinity College students' perceptions of their own and others' body image and how those affect their eating, exercise, and social behavior. A variety of freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior students participated in this study by taking an online questionnaire (n = 56). Using the Figure Rating Scale by Stunkard, A.J., Soerensen, T., and Schulsinger, F. (1983) and the Muscle Mass Rating Scale by Ralph-Nearmann, C., and Filik, R (2020) it was expected that we would find significant differences in body figure and muscle mass ratings. Results indicate that others' opinions are highly influential for young adults' body image ideals. Furthermore, results show that male and female participants' ideals are more similar than they think to be true.


Senior Thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.