Effect of media on female adolescents' satisfaction with their body image
Cardosi, Cynthia, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Strang, Harold R., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Richards, Herbert, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gansneder, Bruce, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Hoffman, Diane, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
The present study investigated the effect of media on female adolescents' satisfaction with their body image. Female adolescents were recruited at twoyear, four-year, and career colleges in the Piedmont area of Virginia. The sample consisted of 108 college women who were 18 to 21 years of age. The average participant was 19 years old (M = 19.63) and overweight according to the Body Mass Index (M = 25.52). Three measures assessed female adolescents' perceptions of their body image and the role of media: Figure Rating Scale, Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3, and Body Image/Media Survey. This study explored the interactions among current body image, personal ideal body image, and media ideal body image. It also ascertained the influences of sociocultural factors on female adolescents' perceptions of their body image.
Findings indicate that female adolescents perceive media to have little influence in shaping their body image. They believe that the media ideal is considerably thinner than their personal ideal. Female adolescents are heavier than these ideal body images. In fact, their current body image usually reflects their own body shape. Female adolescents' body images are closely related to their personal ideal images even though they are thinner. They want a thinner body than they currently have. Female adolescents whose body image is heavier than their personal ideal generally are dissatisfied with their bodies, whereas female adolescents whose body image is similar to their personal ideal generally are satisfied.
Media generally influence female adolescents whose personal ideal is notably thinner than their body image yet similar to the media ideal, and are dissatisfied with their bodies. These adolescents internalize the message from media to be thin, and then feel the pressure from media to be thin.
The thin ideal portrayed by media has little influence on female adolescents' personal ideal. Female adolescents do not perceive the media ideal as representative of their thin ideal. Female adolescents want to be thinner, but not as thin as the media ideal. The thin ideal portrayed by media generally does not influence female adolescents' satisfaction with their body image.
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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
media influence, female adolescents'
Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.
Thesis originally deposited on 2016-02-18 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:34:12.
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