Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lindsey Cohen

Second Advisor

Akihiko Masuda

Third Advisor

Erin B. Tone

Fourth Advisor

Erin Tully


This study used a multiple baseline across participants design to demonstrate a functional relationship between a compassion-focused acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) intervention and three participants’ eating disorder (ED) behaviors and values-consistent behaviors. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the impact of the ACT intervention on participants’ target behaviors. The next aim of the study was to assess participants’ changes in related outcome variables of global disordered eating and general psychological distress during the course of the intervention and again at a three-month follow-up assessment. In addition, theoretically-consistent process variables of self-compassion and body image flexibility were assessed to determine if changes in process variables corresponded with changes in primary outcomes. Results suggested that systematic changes in ED behaviors and values-consistent behaviors were observed across study phases for all three participants. Consistent with hypotheses, these changes corresponded with improvements in self-compassion and body image flexibility. Changes in secondary outcomes were also observed for all three participants over the course of the study. Additional research is necessary to assess effects of a compassion-focused ACT intervention in changing ED behaviors and values-consistent behaviors using a longer follow-up time point with a more diverse sample of individuals with problematic eating.