Date of Conferral







Tracy Masiello


Because poor body image is correlated with poor academic outcomes, it is possible that body appreciation may be associated with improved academic outcomes. The problem that was addressed in the current investigation was the lack of research on the potential relationships between academic outcomes and positive body image, conceptualized as body appreciation. Accordingly, this study leveraged a positive psychology approach to examine the ways body appreciation and self-esteem predict academic self-efficacy and self-reported GPA. The framework combined Bandura’s (1977) theory of self-efficacy and Higgins’ (1987) self-discrepancy theory with Seligman’s (2000) positive psychology approach. This quantitative study followed a non-experimental correlational design. Data were collected via online survey which consisted of the Body Appreciation Scale-2, Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale, the Student Self-Efficacy Scale, and a demographic questionnaire. The sample consisted of 112 currently-enrolled U.S. college and university students. Regressions examined each research question. Analysis revealed a significant relationship between body appreciation, self-esteem, and self-efficacy. Self-esteem was a significant predictor in the model, but body appreciation was not. However, there was not a significant relationship between body appreciation, self-esteem, and self-reported GPA. Findings may encourage academic leaders, policymakers, and school counselors to leverage body appreciation as a tool to improve students’ academic outcomes and overall well-being. Strategies for leveraging body appreciation to foster academic achievement may include the development and implementation of school-based programs designed to nurture positive body image.