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Evidence-based practice

All of my work is based on the scientific and psychological evidence that guides best practice.

With 16 years of experience in the research sector, there have been a lot of highlights!

  • I have over 40 publications, and have been on research teams attracting more than $3.5 million AUD. 

  • I was awarded two prestigious fellowships: 

    • Creswick Foundation Travelling Fellowship to be a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health and Northeastern Universities, in 2019, and 

    • Leverhulme Post Doctoral Research Fellowship- to spend a year at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, in2012

See my selected publications listed below.

Research: About


As an Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Sport at VU, I have a range of active research projects that I am working on.

Mother and Child
Waterside Women


Investigating identity, self compassion, and mental health in mothers, and the impact of awareness of the concept of matrescence.


Evaluating the impact of body image programs and resources for mothers of 0-5 year old children.

Camping at the Beach
WFH Setup


Evaluating the impact of a program to improve boys' body image and prevent muscle-building supplement use.


Web-Based Interventions to Reduce Eating Disorders- developing the first early intervention app for body image and eating concerns.

Research: Projects


Research: Text
Open Book


Yager, Z., Prichard., I., Hart, L., Damiano, LH. (2020). Mumbod? A comparison of body image and dietary restraint among women with younger, older, and no children. Journal of Health Psychology.

Raspovic, A. M., Prichard, I., Yager, Z., & Hart, L. M. (2020). Mothers’ experiences of the relationship between body image and exercise, 0–5 years postpartum: A qualitative study. Body Image, 35, 41-52.

Yager, Z., Prichard, I., & Hart, L. (2020). #Ihaveembraced: a pilot cross-sectional naturalistic evaluation of the documentary film Embrace and its potential associations with body image in adult women. BMC Women’s Health, 20(1), 18-

Damiano, S., Yager, Z., Prichard, I., & Hart, L. (2019). Leading by example: Development of a maternal modelling of positive body image scale and relationships to body image attitudes. Body Image, 29, 132-139.


Doley, J., McLean, S.A., Griffiths., S., & Yager, Z. (2020). Designing body image and eating disorder prevention programs for boys and men: Theoretical, practical and logistical considerations from boys, parents, teachers, and experts. Psychology of Men and Masculinity

Yager, Z., & McLean, S.A. (2020) Supplement use in Australian adolescent boys: Cross-sectional relationships with body image and sports engagement.  BMC paediatrics, 20(1), 1-9.

Doley, J.R., McLean, S., Griffiths, S., & Yager, Z. (2020). Study protocol for Goodform-a classroom-based intervention to enhance body image and prevent doping and supplement use in adolescent boys. BMC Public Health 20(1), 1-11.

Yager, Z., McLean, S., & Li, X. (2019). Body Image outcomes in a replication of the ATLAS program in Australia.  Psychology of Men and Masculinity.

De Jesus, A., Rcciardelli, L., Frisen, A., Smolak, L., Yager, Z., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M., Diedrichs, P., Franko, D., & Holmqvist, K., (2015). Media Internalization and Conformity to Traditional Masculine Norms in Relation to Body Image Concerns Among Men. Eating Behaviors, 18, 137-142 doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2015.04.004

Holmqvist, K., Frisen, A., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M., Ricciardelli, L., Yager, Z., Diedrichs, P., Franko, D., & Smolak, L. (2015). How is Men’s Conformity to Masculine Norms Related to Their Body Image? Masculinity and Muscularity across Western Countries. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 16(3), 337-347.

Yager, Z., & O’Dea, J. A. (2014). Relationships between body image, nutritional supplement use, and attitudes towards doping in sport among adolescent boys: implications for prevention programs. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 11, 13-21.


Yager, Z. (2019) Promoting Positive Body Image in Schools: Past, Present, and Future. Chapter 35 in T. Tylka, & N. Piran (Eds). Handbook of Positive Body Image and Embodiment. Oxford University Press.

Yager, Z., Diedrichs, P., Ricciardelli, L.A., & Halliwell, E.  (2013).  What works in secondary schools? A systematic review of classroom-based body image programs. Body Image, 10, 271-281.

Yager, Z.  (2010).  Issues of Teacher Training in the Prevention of Eating Disorders and Childhood Obesity in Schools (Invited Chapter) Chapter 5 In J. O’Dea & M. Eriksen.  Childhood Obesity Prevention- International Research, Controversies and Intervention.  London: Oxford University Press.

Yager, Z., & O’Dea, J.  (2009). Body image, dieting and disordered eating and activity practices among teacher trainees: implications for school-based health education and obesity prevention programs.  Health Education Research, 24(3), 472-482. 

Yager, Z. (2007) What Not To Do when Teaching about Eating Disorders.  Paper presented at the Home Economics Institute of Australia Biennial Conference.   Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia, 14(1), 28-33. 

Yager, Z., & O’Dea, J.A (2005).  The role of teachers and other educators in the prevention of eating disorders and child obesity: What are the issues? Eating Disorders, 13, 261-278.


Damiano, S., McLean, S.A., Nguyen, L., Yager, Z., & Paxton, S. (2020). Do we cause harm? Understanding the impact of interviewing young children about their body image. Body Image

Damiano, S., Yager, Z., McLean, S.A., & Paxton, S.L. (2018). Achieving Body Confidence for Young Children: Development and evaluation of a universal teacher-led body image and weight stigma program for early primary school children. Eating Disorders: Journal of Treatment and Prevention, DOI:

Halliwell, E., Yager, Z., Paraskeva, N. Diedrichs, P.C., & Smith, H. (2016). Body Image in Primary Schools: Evaluation of a primary school intervention program designed by teachers to improve children's body satisfaction. Body Image. DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.09

Spiel, E., Paxton, S., & Yager, Z.  (2012).  Weight Attitudes in 3- to 5- Year-Old Children: Age Differences and Cross-Sectional Predictors. Body Image, 9(4), 524-527


Yager, Z., Gray, T., Curry, C., & McLean, S. (2020). Pre-service teachers gendered attitudes towards role modelling in Health and Physical Education. Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, 25(1), 67-68.

Yager, Z., Gray, T., Curry, C., & McLean, S. (2017).  Body Dissatisfaction, excessive exercise, and weight change strategies used by first-year undergraduate students: Comparing Health and Physical Education and other education students. Journal of Eating Disorders, 

Yager, Z., & O’Dea, J.  (2010). A controlled intervention to promote a healthy body image and reduce eating disorders risk and excessive exercise among young adults. Health Education Research, 25(5), 841-852.  

Yager, Z. (2009). Developing wellbeing in first year pre-service teachers: Reflections on a pilot of a personal approach to professional education.  Journal of Student Wellbeing, 3(1), 52-72. 

Yager, Z., & O’Dea, J.  (2009). Body image, dieting and disordered eating and activity practices among teacher trainees: implications for school-based health education and obesity prevention programs.  Health Education Research, 24(3), 472-482.

Yager, Z. & O'Dea, J. (2008). Prevention programs for body image and eating disorders on University campuses: A review of large, controlled interventions. Health Promotion International, 23(2) 173-189.

Research: Services
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