Date of Conferral







Charlton Coles


Previous research has indicated that the majority of individuals who undergo bariatric surgery have histories of psychological disorders. Only a paucity of research has examined the social and emotional effects of bariatric surgery on patients. Using Kelly's personal construct theory as the conceptual framework, this phenomenological study was designed to gain more insight into how this life-altering bariatric surgery transforms patients socially and emotionally. Fifteen participants who had undergone bariatric surgery in the past 10 years were interviewed for the study. The interviews were transcribed and coded. Similar themes found within the interviews were identified as the primary themes of the study. The majority of the participants saw themselves as "the same" in regards to their personality and sense of self, but felt different physically after undergoing surgery. With weight loss, the participants felt more confident and stable than prior to the surgery. The majority of the participants described how they felt more confident in social situations and felt as though they blended in more. This study enhances social change initiatives through allowing medical professionals, mental health professionals, bariatric patients, and the overall community to have a better understanding of the significant psychosocial changes that bariatric patients undergo after surgery. Thus, the findings of this study may aid clinicians and physicians in providing treatments and information to bariatric patients that can assist patients in adjusting and coping effectively to the social and emotional changes and challenges that they will experience post surgery.