Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Clinical Psychology

Committee Chair

James G Murphy

Committee Member

Katherine M. Kitzmann

Committee Member

Matthew P. Martens

Committee Member

Kenneth D. Ward


Young adults are at an increased risk for weight gain as they begin college and this has implications for the onset of future health consequences such as Type II Diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and some cancers. Brief motivational interventions (BMIs) have been found to be effective with college students for reducing risky health behaviors such as alcohol consumption, but have not been developed and tested with a primary goal of reducing obesity. BMIs have been developed and tested for the treatment of obesity and weight-related health behaviors (WRHB) in other populations, such as adults and adolescents, with promising results. The purpose of the following study was to develop and test the efficacy of a BMI for weight loss among overweight and obese college students. Seventy undergraduate students (85.7% female, 57.1% African American) completed an assessment about WRHBs and then were randomized to either receive a single 60-minute BMI plus a booster phone call, or to assessment only. T-tests revealed within group differences between baseline and post-session readiness to increase level of exercise, reduce dietary intake, and to reduce weight. However, this increase in motivation did not predict change at follow up. Additionally, at three months, after controlling for baseline measures, there were no significant differences between the intervention group and the assessment only group on body mass index or WRHBs, and minimal change was evidenced overall in either group. It was concluded that the one-session nature of the session might not have been enough to produce significant change in weight or WRHBs.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.