Date of Award

Spring 2004

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Brad Elison

Second Advisor

Thomas Hamilton

Third Advisor

Kyle Strode

Abstract

7.4 million Americans underwent a cosmetic surgery procedure in 2000; this number has tripled since 1992. Despite the rise in cosmetic procedures there have been few studies that have investigated the psychological impact ofthese procedures This study investigated the relationship involving self-acceptance and locus of control between those seeking multiple cosmetic surgery procedures versus those who have had none. The participants were 35 volunteers solicited from a board certified Plastic Surgeon in Beverly Hills, California. Participants were divided into two groups, cosmetic seekers (M age=39.21, SD=11.19) who had never undergone a cosmetic procedure but were seeking a consultation and Cosmetic veterans (M age=41.07, SD=12.94) who had undergone more than one prior surgery and were seeking another consultation. Cosmetic seekers and cosmetic veterans were matched based on age, gender, and cosmetic procedure. Both groups filled out a modified version of J. Rotter’s Locus of Control Scale and E.M. Berger Self-Acceptance Scales. It was hypothesized that those who had undergone multiple cosmetic surgeries would have a lower self-acceptance and locus of control. A matched paired t-test revealed that cosmetic veterans had significantly higher self-acceptance (p=. 0001) and locus of control (p= 0001) when compared to cosmetic seekers. Implications of the data indicate that those who are willing to undergo multiple physical alteration rank higher on self-acceptance and internal locus of control then cosmetic patients who were just seeking their first consultation.

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