Examining the impact of repeated exposure to ideal mediated body images on body satisfaction, self-esteem, and disordered eating in females
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBased on principles related to the self-concept, social comparison theory, self-discrepancy theory, and cultivation theory, this study predicted that increases in exposure to mediated ideal bodies would be associated with a greater likelihood to hold beauty-related beliefs and values consistent with those presented in mainstream media. The study further predicted that, by altering the fidelity of the relationship between the ought self and the ideal self, individual difference variables (i.e., body mass index, self-monitoring, intrasexual competitiveness, and self-efficacy) would interact with media exposure to affect body satisfaction. Body satisfaction, in turn, would interact with importance of the physical self to the self-concept to affect self-esteem, which would predict patterns of disordered eating. To test these predictions, 202 undergraduate females completed a survey during class time. Results revealed that fashion magazine consumption (but not television consumption) was positively correlated with beauty-related beliefs. While media exposure did not directly predict body satisfaction, body mass and self-efficacy were direct predictors of body satisfaction. Self-monitoring interacted with body weight and fashion magazine consumption to influence body satisfaction, as did intrasexual competitiveness. Body satisfaction and self-esteem were positively correlated with each other and negatively correlated with characteristics of eating disorders. The implications of these results, as well as suggestions for future research, are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College