Purpose: The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between achievement self-esteem, self acceptance self-esteem and body composition in college women. Methods: One-hundred and fifty eight college women were recruited to participate in the study. Participants were healthy, between the age of 18 and 25 yrs, not taking medication that would alter metabolism, and able to participate in physical activity without restriction. As part of the study the participants filled out the Worth Index, which measured level of self-acceptance and achievement self-esteem. The questionnaire included four subscales: basic human worth, performance factor, personal security and appearance. Body composition was assessed using the BOD POD. Results: Participants in the study were 19.9 ± 1.7 yrs, had a BMI of 22.5 ± 3.2 kg/m² and a percent body fat of 26.4 ± 6.4. Source of self-esteem was primarily self-acceptance self-esteem with participants on average scoring 65 ± 11 out of 84 (high moderate) compared to an achievement self-esteem score of 35 ± 10 out of 84 (low moderate). When evaluating the subscales a similar trend appears with the exception of the performance factor, which was more normally distributed. Achievement self-esteem in appearance was positively correlated to percent body fat (p<0.05). Global self-esteem was not related to percent body fat in this population. BMI was negatively related to performance factor and appearance with self-acceptance self-esteem (p<0.05). Global self-esteem was significantly lower for individuals in the highest BMI category. Conclusion: College women who identified less with achievement self-esteem in the subscale of appearance had a lower percent body fat than women who identified more with achievement self-esteem in the subscale for appearance. Also, women who had a higher BMI identified less with self-acceptance self-esteem in the subscales of appearance and performance. Women who had a higher BMI had lower overall self-esteem.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





self-esteem, college students, body composition, weight, self-acceptance, self-esteem