Khaleghi is studying whether or not there is a correlation between levels of cortisol, which is a steroid hormone that regulates processes throughout the body such as metabolism, and self-efficacy of dietary control in college women who are judged for their weight.
“Basically, we want to see if women who perceive themselves as overweight have higher levels of cortisol when they are stigmatized due to their weight.”
The Psi Chi grant will allow Khaleghi to purchase equipment that will help collect and analyze saliva samples in order to measure cortisol levels in participants.
In addition to her primary research, Khaleghi also is interested in determining whether stigmatized women will consume more high-calorie foods than participants who are not stigmatized.
For more information on SFA graduate research, visit http://www2.sfasu.edu/orsp/index.html.
By Emily Brown, marketing communications specialist at Stephen F. Austin State University.