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Positive Fat Identity Development: A Model and Scale
AuthorHuelsman, Melissa Ann
AdvisorHarrison, Thomas C.
Counseling and Educational Psychology
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Counselor education has not included fat individuals as a marginalized or oppressed population in multicultural counseling. Yet, the profession has embraced ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and homosexuals in the study of counseling diverse populations. Therefore, the Positive Fat Identity Development Model (PFIDM) and Positive Fat Identity Development Scale (PFATIDS) were developed as a means to understand a fat individual's experience with a positive fat identity. The model and scale were developed from the models of identity development from researchers like Cross (1971) who created an identity development model for African Americans and Downing and Roush (1985) who created an identity development model for women. The PFATIDS was administered via the Internet to fat individuals to attempt to validate the number of stages that existed from the PFIDM and to predict placement of a fat individual into one of five stages from the PFIDM. The results of the study concluded that fat individuals appear to follow similar identity development as other stigmatized groups like African Americans and Women. Suggestions for future research with a larger, clinical and more diverse sample are noted.