In the United States, about a quarter of adolescent girls report clinical levels of body dissatisfaction, and approximately 15% of adults smoke cigarettes. Body dissatisfaction can predict the development of an eating disorder, and smoking is linked with dozens of diseases, both of which can lead to premature death. The current study tested body dissatisfaction as a mediator of the relationship between frequency of positive verbal commentary and smoking, and the relationship between sociocultural influences (perceived family, peer, media, and significant other pressures) and smoking, while controlling for body mass index. Participants included 397 female undergraduates (Mean age = 20.32) recruited from universities and online communities, who completed an online survey. Participants were primarily Hispanic (33.4%), followed by Asian/Pacific Islander (28.2%), and White (20.1%). Results demonstrated no significant mediation effect of body dissatisfaction on the relationship between sociocultural factors and smoking, and there were no significant predictors of smoking (ps > .05). Increases in perceived pressures from peers, family, media, and less positive verbal commentary predicted greater body dissatisfaction (ps < .001). Increases in pressures from significant others (p < .01) and BMI also predicted greater body dissatisfaction (p < .05). Contrary to previous research, body dissatisfaction and smoking were not significantly associated (p xi > .05). Our findings corroborate prior research regarding the impact of sociocultural factors on body dissatisfaction and expand upon it by including pressures from significant others. Possible explanations for the lack of significant predictors of smoking are discussed, as well as ways to potentially modify the Tripartite Model of Influence for future studies to include smoking. Overall, these findings have implications for body dissatisfaction prevention/intervention efforts that emphasize the importance of focusing on sociocultural factors.

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology




School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Holly E. R. Morrell

Second Advisor

Sylvia M. Herbozo

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

body dissatisfaction; body image; social influence


Doctoral Project

Page Count

57 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives