Interventions designed to reduce weight bias have been met with mixed results. This study was to determine whether explicit weight bias can be reduced by a brief intervention utilizing techniques of guided imagery and guided reflection. A study with 102 undergraduate participants from a 4-year university in Louisiana was conducted using an experimental design to assess whether a brief intervention using guided imagery and guided written reflections could reduce explicit weight bias. Weight bias was measured with the Attitudes toward Obese Persons/Beliefs about Obese Persons Scale (Allison, Basile & Yuker, 1991) and the Fat Phobia Scale (Bacon, Scheltema, & Robinson, 2001). Participants were randomly assigned to treatment and control conditions. All participants completed the measures pre-intervention and reviewed a written profile of a fictitious obese person. Control participants were asked to read an article on use of imagery, to write their reflections on imagery and then repeat completion of the two measures. Treatment participants were asked to imagine a pleasant encounter with the obese person, to write their reflections of their encounter using a form containing lists of positive adjectives that they were encouraged to use when writing and then to repeat the two measures. A t-test was used to assess the differences between means on both measures post intervention between control and treatment participants. On the Attitudes toward Obese Persons/Beliefs about Obese Persons Scale relative to controls, treatment participants demonstrated significantly lowered weight bias in terms of their attitudes toward and beliefs about obese persons (t = -2.75, df = 100, p <.01). On the Fat Phobia Scale differences were not significant (t = 0.07, df = 100, p >.05). Results suggested that positive guided imagery and guided reflection may be effective in reducing negative attitudes toward obese persons but not necessarily phobic responses toward obese people. Recommendations for future research are proposed.
|Advisor:||Williamson, Rodney G.|
|Commitee:||Fisher, Deborah, Glidewell, Reba|
|Department:||Social and Behavioral Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Bias, Guided imagery, Guided reflection, Reduction, Weight|
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