Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

Marie-Christine Goodworth, PhD

Second Advisor

Glena Andrews, PhD

Third Advisor

Mark R. McMinn, PhD


Body shame and objectification of the female body are well known contributing factors in physical and mental health issues including high stress, eating disorder symptomatology, depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Religion plays a role in body shame and female objectification through both scripture and theological writings although this relationship remains inconclusive. Self-Compassion has been found to be a mitigating factor with regard to body shame in college and caregiver contexts. The Church of the Nazarene promotes itself as supporting female leadership and roles within the church. Since religion and gender roles seem to play a role in body shame and body shame impacts physical and mental well-being, the purpose of the present study is to examine the relationship between body shame, gender roles, religiosity, and self-compassion among female members of the Church of the Nazarene. Results of this study indicate that self-compassion is a significant predictor of body shame, as well as control beliefs and body surveillance. The only significant variable in religious identification was non-organizational religiousness, which had a significant relationship with control beliefs and body surveillance. Gender norms were found to have a small significant predictive relationship with body shame. Self-compassion helps with all aspects of objectified body consciousness and therefore may be considered as a focus of intervention. However, religiosity and gender norms did not have a strong relationship with Objectified Body Consciousness. Theological perspectives were not evaluated within this study, and could be a focus of further study with regard to self-compassion.