The Effects of Media Exposure on Body Satisfaction, Beliefs About Attractiveness, Mood and Bulimic Symptomatology Among College Women
Description: The research of Stice et al. (1994) and Stice and Shaw (1994) proposed several mechanisms that may mediate the adverse effects of media exposure to the thin ideal including internalization of the thin-ideal, negative affect, and body dissatisfaction. The purpose of this study was to extend initial research of Stice and Shaw (1994) by incorporating two forms of media (e.g., TV and Magazines) to assess the effects of exposure to the media portrayal of ideal body shape on women's mood, body satisfaction, and internalization of societal values concerning attractiveness. The relation of these variables to bulimic symptomatology was examined. The current study improved upon Stice and Shaw's study (1994) by matching participants' scores on BMI, level of negative affect, and level of body satisfaction before random assignment to the experimental conditions. Female undergraduates aged 18 to 25 years participated in premeasure (N = 198) and post measure (N = 164) conditions. Results from repeated mulitvariate analysis indicated media exposure to ideal-body images demonstrated no significant changes in women's affect, body satisfaction or endorsement of the thin ideal. Indirect support for the sociocultural theory of eating disorders was provided by multiple regression analyses that demonstrated lower levels of satisfaction with size and shape of body and higher levels of negative affect predicted bulimic symptomatology in women. Future research should determine which females are at greater risk than others for the development of body dissatisfaction, negative mood, and internalization of U.S. values of attractiveness in response to media related messages communicating a thin ideal.
Date: December 2000
Creator: Varnado, Jessica Lea