College of Science and Health Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Summer 8-23-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jocelyn Carter, PhD

Second Advisor

Howard Rosing, PhD


This thesis examines the relationship between sociocultural appearance norms, environment, and health efficacy in shaping health behaviors and outcomes in mothers and their children. Childhood obesity is a serious health condition affecting US children. Factors related to the cause of obesity include poor nutrition, lack of physical activity and parent's perceptions and roles. However, given that children have little autonomy, it is of great importance to understand how parental perceptions and behaviors influence the health outcomes of their children. This thesis was conducted using quantitative methods. Participants were 120 mothers who completed survey measures of sociocultural appearance norms, health efficacy, and physical activity and health eating behaviors. The results of this thesis found sociocultural appearance norms to predict physical activity and health eating through the mediator of health efficacy among women.

SLP Collection