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Date of Award

Spring 2021


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Date Available to Non-EWU Users


Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology: General/Experimental




Many bariatric weight loss surgery patients do not exercise after surgery. One potential reason this population may not exercise is due to body image shame and low self-compassion, which can contribute to lower appreciation for one’s body. Adult participants from an international bariatric population sample (N = 805) and an Eastern Washington University undergraduate student sample (N = 104) completed a one-time online questionnaire that included measures of self-compassion, physical activity frequency, body appreciation, and body image shame. In the bariatric sample, self-compassion was indirectly associated with exercise frequency via body appreciation and body image shame. Additionally, at the highest levels of self-compassion, exercise frequency was negatively impacted by the highest levels of body image shame. These results were not found in the undergraduate sample. Moving forward, interventions targeting self-compassion, body appreciation, and body image shame may help support members of the bariatric surgery population’s physical activity efforts.