Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Educational and Psychological Studies (Education)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Lydia P. Buki

Second Committee Member

Soyeon Ahn

Third Committee Member

Blaine J. Fowers

Fourth Committee Member

Christina Pozo-Kaderman


The purpose of the present study was to develop and empirically test an exploratory model that examines how objectification theory variables (i.e., internalization of sociocultural attitudes toward appearance, objectified self-surveillance) and positive body image variables (i.e., body acceptance by others, self-compassion) work together to predict body appreciation among breast cancer survivors. Data were gathered from 158 breast cancer survivors (stages I-III) who had completed primary treatment. Participants completed the following standardized measures: Body Acceptance by Others Scale, Sociocultural Attitudes Toward Appearance Questionnaire–Internalization, Objectified Body Consciousness Scale–Self-Surveillance, Self-Compassion Scale–Short Form, and the Body Appreciation Scale. Path analysis was conducted on the exploratory model testing proposed pathways between model variables. Significant correlations were found across all model variables except between body acceptance by others and (a) internalization, and (b) objectified self-surveillance. Controlling for weight gain, the final model yielded two statistically significant pathways. First, perceiving body acceptance from others had a direct effect on body appreciation and had an indirect effect through self-compassion. Second, internalization had a direct effect on body appreciation and an indirect effect through objectified self-surveillance and self-compassion. This study is the first to provide evidence for the applicability of both objectification theory and positive body image to breast cancer survivors. Encouraging breast cancer survivors to elicit body image support from others and to challenge internalized media appearance ideals may help them pay less attention to their physical appearance, engage in self-compassion, and come to appreciate their bodies.


objectification; body appreciation; breast cancer survivors

Available for download on Saturday, June 05, 2021