Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Obesity rates have continued to increase over the past decade with a current estimate of 35.7% of adults who are obese in the United States. Several behavioral weight loss programs are available to individuals, which typically lead to a 10% decrease in body weight; however, most individuals begin gaining weight after six months. Long-term weight maintenance interventions may be needed to help individuals keep the weight off and more cost-effective, and tailored weight-loss treatments need to be available. Motivation may play an important role in long-term weight maintenance. Self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1995) states that it is important to distinguish between autonomous and controlled motivation when attempting long-term maintenance of behavior change. Motivational Interviewing (MI; Rollnick & Miller, 1995) is a directive, client-centered counseling style for eliciting behavior change by helping clients explore and resolve ambivalence and is seen as an autonomy-supportive atmosphere. The MI environment has been shown to support SDT and includes the components needed to increase integrated motivation for behavior change. The current study utilized a brief MI intervention on motivation for weight loss to determine changes in autonomy and competence ratings in individuals (N = 65). Participants were randomly assigned to either the MI intervention group or a control group. They were assessed at baseline and 4-week follow-up for autonomy and competence ratings. There were no significant differences in autonomy or competence ratings between the two groups from baseline to 4-week follow-up. Implications of these findings are discussed.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Matson, Johnny

Included in

Psychology Commons