Date of Award

Spring 5-2014

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis



First Advisor

Elizabeth Tinnon

Advisor Department




The purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between body mass and depression among Mississippi women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).


Ten women participated in this study. Data was collected by online survey. The survey was distributed to eligible participants on, a support network for women with PCOS. The survey included the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) questionnaire as well as five additional questions that asked the participants to report their weight, height, comorbidities, age, and race. The CES-D score provided a measurement for depression while the participant’s weight and height allowed the researcher to calculate body mass index (BMI), the measurement used for body mass. The participants’ depression scores and BMI scores were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient.


With all 10 participants the BMI scores and CES-D scores were negatively correlated (r = -0.173). The maximum BMI score of 62.02 and the minimum CES-D score of 8 belonged to the same participant, participant 10. Because participant 10 possessed the maximum BMI and the minimum CES-D score, she could have affected standard deviation. For experimental purposes the data was analyzed again without participant 10’s BMI score or CES-D score. Without participant 10’s data, the BMI and CES-D scores for the remaining nine participants were positively correlated (r = 0.294).


With the inclusion of participant 10’s data, the finding that body mass and depression were negatively correlated (r = -0.173) does not reflect the findings of past research. Without participant 10’s data the results were positively correlated (r = 0.294), which is congruent with the findings of past research (Barry et al., 2011). The findings of this study are conflicting. In the current study p > 0.05. Therefore, the results are not clinically significant. Limitations to this study include a small sample size as well as a lack of representation of individuals without access to the Internet. Future research needs to be conducted with a larger sample to further examine the relationship between body mass and depression in women with PCOS.


Honors College Award: Top Thesis