Understanding the journey: A phenomenological study of college students' lived experiences during the weight-loss process

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2013-01-01
Authors
Davis, Michael
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Daniel C. Robinson
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Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Abstract

Although numerous studies have focused on understanding various aspects of the science of weight loss and weight gain in college students, understanding how the weight-loss process affects college students psychologically and behaviorally may help administrators and student affairs professionals to better work with students on their campuses. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of college students in the weight-loss process. Three models--Transtheoretical, Stages of Change, and Health Belief--were used as guiding frameworks and foundations to understand where the students are in the weight-loss process. The data from this study yielded four significant themes: (a) separating the stages of change processes; (b) the need for support to be successful in the process; (c) the stresses of being a student and how they affect the weight-loss process; and (4) the physical environment of the university and its effects on weight loss. In addition, conclusions, limitations, implications and recommendations for future research are presented in this study.

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