Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Second Department


First Advisor

Kenneth Debono




girls, freshmen, senior, surveys, eating


The purpose of this research was to investigate the underlying causes of the increases in abnormal and dangerous eating behaviors that take place on Union College’s campus, specifically looking at freshmen and senior girls. Between entering Union as a freshman and leaving as a senior, it has been predicted that eating patterns and attitudes towards food are significantly different among these two groups of girls. It is hypothesized that due to Union’s conditions, being a small, upper-middle class white private college, along with some unidentifiable pressure to look a certain way, female students feel extreme pressure to conform to the Union body ideal. Those who stand out strive to fit the norm, regardless of the extremes they must take to diminish their flawed physical differences. In a world that stresses uniqueness, individuality, and loving oneself while simultaneously expressing to women that thin is the only way to be beautiful, it is no wonder that college females face these bodily pressures to conform to the thin ideal.