Texas Tech University

Gender SEAMS Research Team

Gender SEAMS Research Projects

Navigating Desire: Romance and Body Image among First Year College Women

  • Samantha Christopher, Kirsten Dalquist, Kelly Chroback, Kimberly Gambell, Cynthia Torres-Sesmas, Davina Nguyen, Katy Sill, Ally Moreno, Benjamin Finlayson, John Purcell, and Elizabeth Sharp

An alarmingly high number of college women experience disordered eating (DE) [defined as: problematic thoughts (e.g., distorted body image) and behaviors (e.g., calorie restriction, purging) but less frequent and/or less severe than clinical diagnosis]. DE has been associated with distorted body image, low self-esteem , emotional distress and other nutritional and physiological complications (Krentz, Chew, & Arthur, 2005). Expressed problems are pronounced for women transitioning to college. In this paper, we draw our research using focus groups with at total 42 first-year women, examining the interplay of romance, body image and use of space among Black, Latina, and White first year women on a large college campus.