The media's influence on college females' body satisfaction

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Audra L. Wagaman (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Kia Asberg

Abstract: College females have been shown to be at risk for problems such as eating disturbances (Schwitzer et al., 2008), body dissatisfaction (Altabe & Thompson, 1993), and depression (Abramson et. al., 1998). Further, some aspects of the media have been shown to have negative effects on females' body image (i.e., Altabe & Thompson, 1993). The present study investigated the relationships among body satisfaction, body anxiety, eating disturbance, social comparison, internalization of sociocultural attitudes, body mass index (BMI), and depression. Results (N=56) indicated that higher body satisfaction was related to less body anxiety, and that body anxiety was related positively to eating disturbances, social comparison, internalization of sociocultural attitudes, and BMI. Comparisons between females who were randomly assigned to watch images of overweight (OI group) or underweight (UI group) individuals suggested no differences on body anxiety and satisfaction at post-test, however, some interesting within group trends emerged. First, body anxiety scores for participants in the OI group decreased significantly from pre- to post-test, while there was no significant pre-post change in scores for the UI group. In addition, there was a non-significant trend indicating that body satisfaction increased for participants in both the OI and UI groups. Implications and future directions, as well as limitations, will be discussed.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
Body Image, College Females, Media
Body image in women
Women in mass media
Eating disorders in women

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