This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Is the Level of Weight Gain During College Freshmen’s First Semester Related to Changes in the Regulation of Food, Strength Training, and Appearance Satisfaction, During the Second Semester?




Peters, Suzanne

Type of Degree



Human Development and Family Studies


Multiple studies have found that college students gain a significant amount of weight during their college career. The present study goes beyond measuring the amount of weight that college student gain, and identifies college students’ responses to their levels of weight gain in the first semester of freshman year. Of the 542 (191 males; 350 females) freshmen recruited for this study, 340 (123 males; 217 females) gained weight during their first semester in college. During the second semester of college, students who had gained weight during the first semester increased their autonomous regulation of food and decreased their controlled regulation of food. Females increased the amount of time spent in strength training exercises whereas males decrease the amount of time spent in strength training exercises. Future research should focus on identifying the most effective weight management strategies so interventionists can focus their efforts and help students engage in healthy lifestyles that promote a healthy weight.