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  • Author: Vicki Ebbeck x
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Vicki Ebbeck and Keegan E. Fitzgerald

The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of enacting the Way of the Bodhisattva (Chödrön, 2005) lessons in compassion with larger women, particularly in reference to their physical activity behaviors. Three women provided ongoing and detailed information with regard to their experiences engaging with the lessons over a 6-week period. Individual weekly interviews, journal entries, a focus group discussion with all women following the program, and researcher field notes in combination offered triangulated information that was analyzed by two researchers. The findings suggested that the women benefited from the program, although assuming the role of a bodhisattva did prove to be challenging in the time available and perhaps was most beneficial in facilitating the process of self-reflection.

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Vicki Ebbeck, Patti Lou Watkins and Susan S. Levy

This study examined possible determinants of some of the health behaviors of larger women. Specifically, it was of interest to discern if affect (depression, social physique anxiety) mediated the relationship between self-conceptions (global self-worth, perceived physical appearance) and behavior (disordered eating, physical activity). The investigation was grounded in the model of self-worth forwarded by Harter (1987). A total of 71 overweight or obese women agreed to participate in the study. Data collection involved a researcher meeting individually with each of the participants to record physical assessments as well as responses to a packet of self-report questionnaires. A series of canonical correlation analyses were then conducted to test each of the three conditions for mediation effects outlined by Baron and Kenny (1986). Results suggested that indeed the set of self-conceptions indirectly influenced the set of behaviors via the set of affect variables. Surprisingly, however, involvement in physical activity failed to contribute to the multivariate relationships. The findings further our understanding of how self-conceptions are related to behavior and highlight the value of examining multiple health behaviors in parallel.