Eating disorders are a significant public health concern affecting approximately 8 million individuals in the United States, with women suffering at disproportionate rates. Eating disorders have been associated with a variety of negative health behaviors, including smoking. Despite an overall decrease in smoking prevalence, smoking rates remain high among females with eating disorders. The current study explored the role that perceived consequences of smoking related to appetite/weight control plays in moderating the relationship between body dissatisfaction, which is a risk factor for the development of an eating disorder, and weight control smoking, controlling for the effects of race/ethnicity smoking status, BMI, and several interactions with smoking status. Participants were 397 college-aged women (mean age = 20.11, SD = 2.12; 38.6% Hispanic/Latino, 8.9% current smokers) who completed an online survey for course credit or a gift card. Results indicated that BMI was positively related to weight control smoking for both current smokers and individuals who reported ever smoking in their lifetime. Further, among current smokers, weight control smoking decreased as body dissatisfaction increased. Additionally, beliefs about whether smoking helps to control appetite/weight increased as body dissatisfaction increased, but this relationship was stronger among individuals who had reported smoking in their lifetime. African-American participants reported higher rates and Hispanic/Latino participants reported lower rates of weight control smoking than Caucasian participants. Weight control smoking also increased as beliefs about whether smoking helps to control appetite/weight increased, but this relationship appeared stronger among smokers. Lastly, there was a significant three-way interaction. Simple regression plots revealed that for smokers, weight control smoking decreased as beliefs about whether smoking helps to control appetite/weight increased, but the relationship appeared to be stronger among participants who reported higher levels of body dissatisfaction. Given that BMI is associated with weight control smoking, incorporating psychoeducation about the consequences of smoking and its ineffectiveness to control appetite and weight into smoking prevention and cessation programs may be beneficial to targeting these beliefs.

Keywords: Eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, smoking, weight control smoking, smoking consequences

LLU Discipline

Clinical Psychology


Clinical Psychology


School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Holly E. R. Morrell

Second Advisor

Sylvia M. Herbozo

Third Advisor

Grace Lee

Fourth Advisor

David Vermeersch

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Female; Young Adult; Smokers; Appetite; Body Dissatisfaction; Body Mass Index; Risk Factors; Hispanic or Latino; African People



Page Count

xi, 60 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