Summer Courses

Special Topic in Abnormal Psychology: Body Image: Etiology, Psychopathology and Treatment

Summer 2014
Subject Area: 
Course Number: 
PSYC 460 940
Wednesday 5:30pm-9:20pm


Primary Program: 
Master of Liberal Arts
Course Description: 

Body image is an important component of how people feel about themselves. Body image dissatisfaction has received a tremendous amount of research attention over the last decade and is thought to play in important role in several psychological conditions, ranging from low self-esteem to eating disorders, obesity, social anxiety, sexual problems and body dysmorphic disorder. This course will explore body image theories, research, and clinical applications. We will begin by covering the theories of body image, focusing on developmental and sociocultural influences. Included in this material will be a discussion of empirical methods to assess body image dissatisfaction. We will then begin to discuss psychological models for understanding and treating body image dissatisfaction. Following the mid-term examination, we will cover many of the psychiatric disorders with a significant body image component. We will also discuss the relationship between body image and obesity, congenital and acquired deformity, and cosmetic surgery. This material will be supplemented by clinical cases that will be presented and discussed in each class.


The course listing presented here is subject to change. Please confirm all information on the the University of Pennsylvania Registrar's website or via Penn InTouch (PennKey required)