Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Lindsey L. Cohen, Ph.D. - Chair

Second Advisor

Mary K. Morris, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Lisa Armistead, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Erin B. McClure, Ph.D.


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; Crohn’s disease & ulcerative colitis) is a chronic illness in which medication and dietary adherence may determine disease natural history and severity of symptoms. We hypothesized that age, prospective memory (PM) and body satisfaction would predict medication and dietary adherence in adolescents with IBD and that gender and age would modify the relation between body satisfaction and adherence, with older girls being less adherent than younger children. Fifty-seven participants aged 10-21 (M = 16.5, SD = 2.3) with IBD and their caregivers were recruited. Informed consent, demographics and body satisfaction questionnaires were completed. PM was assessed using a naturalistic task. Adherence was measured by the 1-week completion of a medication and dietary log. A questionnaire was administered to evaluate coping strategies used for overcoming obstacles to dietary adherence. Two hierarchical regressions were conducted for medication and diet adherence respectively. As hypothesized, age had a significant effect (â = -.42, p < .01) on dietary adherence, accounting for approximately 17% of the variance (R2change = .17; Fchange (1,41) = 8.57, p = .006), with younger children being more adherent. Body satisfaction had a greater and more significant effect on dietary adherence than age (â = -.33, p < .01); i.e. participants more satisfied with their body reported better dietary adherence (R2change = .28; Fchange (2,35) = 6.97, p < .05). Findings remained consistent across multiple measures of body satisfaction and dietary adherence. None of the predictors had a significant effect on medication adherence. Health care providers who treat adolescents with IBD and parents should be made aware of factors affecting adherence in order to improve disease outcomes and patients’ quality of life.


Included in

Psychology Commons