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Eating Disorders and Body Image Lab

The Eating Disorders and Body Image Lab is located in room 104 at the Graduate Center at NDSU. For more information, please contact Dr. Beth Blodgett Salafia at

About the Research

The rates of eating disorders, disordered eating, and body image disturbances are increasing among male and female adolescents and young adults. It is imperative to understand the nature of these disorders as well as the factors associated with their development. Personal characteristics as well as family, peer, romantic partner, and other sociocultural influences play a significant role and are thoroughly investigated in the following studies.

Research Projects

Eating Attitudes Study (EATS)

EATS is a 2-year longitudinal study of over 200 middle school and high school adolescent girls and boys. The study is an examination of parent, sibling, peer, and individual influences on disordered eating attitudes and behaviors (including body dissatisfaction, dieting, bulimic symptoms, and drive for muscularity).

Body Image and Sexual Activity Study (BISA)

BISA is a collaboration between faculty members Beth Blodgett Salafia and Kristen Benson. This study is an examination of the relations among over 500 female college students’ sexual activity, sexual attitudes, feelings about sex, body image, disordered eating, and religiosity.

Causes of Eating Disorders Study (CED)

CED is a qualitative examination of people’s perceptions about the causes of eating disorders. Two samples participated in this study: one sample of over 200 individuals without eating disorders and one sample of approximately 60 individuals with eating disorders.

Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention Focus Groups (EDAP)

EDAP is a qualitative, focus group interview study of approximately 50 individuals.  Groups were asked about what they knew about eating disorders, the causes of eating disorders, the accuracy of available information, and how information should be properly disseminated.

Study on Sexuality and Related Topics (SoSRT)

SoSRT is a 2-wave longitudinal study of college-aged men and women.  The study is an examination of body image, parent-child relationships, disordered eating, sexuality, and media use.

Female Body Image Focus Groups

This focus group study is a qualitative set of interviews assessing body image and muscularity concerns among approximately 40 women.  Questions focused on the current state of female body image, levels of muscularity, strategies to increase muscularity among women.   

Study on Competitive Sport and Psychological Well-Being

This is a study of individuals involved in competitive sport, and examines how sports participation may be associated with positive deviance and well-being, including eating behaviors, self-esteem, drive for muscularity, and antisocial behaviors.

Current Doctoral Students


Alison Brennan

Undergraduate DegreePsychology/Sociology, Concordia College, Moorhead, MN
Masters Degree
 (expected May 2014): Human Development, Dev. Sci. option, NDSU
Research. Parent training programs, esp. for high-risk populations; developmental assets and mental health in rural adolescents; sexual attitudes and behaviors, body satisfaction, and media use in emerging adults.
Faculty Advisor.  M.S.: Dr. Joel Hektner              PhD: Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia


Maegan Jones

Undergraduate: BA in psychology, William and Mary
Degree:  NA
Research: Eating disorder prevention and intervention, the development of early childhood prevention programs, risk factors and behaviors that can lead to disordered eating
Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia



 Mark Suffolk

Undergraduate: BSc Psychology Loughborough University UK
Master's Degree: MRes. Psychological Research Methods. Loughborough University UK
Research: Body Image, Muscle Dysmorphia, Relationship between competitive sport and psychological well-being
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Blodgett Salafia





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Last Updated: Wednesday, January 07, 2015 8:51:26 AM