Date of Award

Winter 12-20-2006

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

David A. Barlow

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


The period of adolescence in a young girl's life is a time of differentiation and change, A young girl's journey into adolescence involves several adjustments including physical, moral, social and cognitive changes. All of the unique influences and adjustments affecting a young girl also affect her body image. These influences include the culture, media, family, friends, and a girls own personality and temperament. One influence that has not been studied is the motivation of Christian values on a young girl's body image. Christian values have the strength to positively motivate people to do many constructive things. The purpose of this study was to evaluate how Christian values, in comparison to other sociocultural values, motivate early adolescent girls in regard to their body image. Methods This research project took place at a suburban church and the data was collected from participants by way of a focus group made up of four early adolescent girls. The study used a brief questionnaire and a set of semi-structured, open-ended questions to assess the perceptions of how values influence the participants' body images. Results In review, the results of the focus group showed that the girls felt negative about their body image when they felt that their bodies were different from others. The four girls felt positively about their body when they were given compliments by friends and family, and when they grew.


SC 11.PAS.2006.Keizer.T