Description: This study investigates the impact of sociocultural mediators in relation to eating disorders among male undergraduates. Literature on eating disorders has demonstrated that a thin body shape ideal depicted in the media directly contributes to eating pathology among females, but little research has investigated the direct effects of ideal body shape images among men. The focus of the present investigation was to assess the direct effects of exposure to the ideal male body shape on mens affect, self esteem, body satisfaction, and endorsement of U. S. societal ideals of attractiveness. In addition, the relation of these variables to bulimic symptomatology was examined. Modeling a study conducted on women (Stice & Shaw, 1994), male undergraduates between the ages of 18 to 25 participated in premeasure (N = 169) and post measure (N = 95) conditions. Participants in the post measure were randomly exposed to pictures from magazines containing either male models depicting the ideal body shape, an average body or pictures of clothing without models. Results from repeated mulitvariate analysis indicated that exposure to the ideal body shape condition did not demonstrate significant negative changes in mens affect, self esteem, body satisfaction or endorsement of U. S. societal ideals of attractiveness. Indirect support for the sociocultural theory of eating disorders was provided by multiple regression analyses which demonstrated that increased body mass, self esteem, stress and anxiety predicted bulimic symptomatology in men. Future research should direct itself toward investigating possible sociocultural influences of eating disorders on certain male subenvironments, such as athletes or homosexual males that place a greater emphasis on maintaining lower body mass and an ideal body shape.
Date: December 1999
Creator: Barta, Jonna Lee
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Partner: UNT Libraries