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Social media use and body dissatisfaction in adolescents: The moderating role of thin-and muscular-ideal internalisation

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journal contribution
posted on 01.01.2021, 00:00 authored by A T Vuong, Hannah JarmanHannah Jarman, J R Doley, S A McLean
Internalisation of appearance ideals moderates the relationship between exposure to media images and body dissatisfaction. To date, the role of thin- and muscular-ideal internalisation in the context of social media remains under explored, particularly for boys. As such, we aimed to explore how social media use (Instagram and Snapchat) was related to body dissatisfaction, and whether thin- and muscular-ideal internalisation would moderate this relationship in a sample of 1153 adolescent boys and girls (55.42% males; Mage = 13.71, SD = 1.14). As hypothesised, social media use, and thin- and muscular ideal internalisation were positively correlated with body dissatisfaction in both genders. In moderation analyses, thin-ideal internalisation emerged as the only variable that had a significant effect on body dissatisfaction in both genders. Additionally, the influence of social media use on body dissatisfaction was moderated by muscular-ideal internalisation in boys, whereby for boys with high muscular-ideal internalisation, greater social media use was associated with greater body dissatisfaction. The two-way (muscular x thin-ideal internalisation) and three-way interaction (social media use x thin-ideal internalisation x muscular-ideal internalisation) effects on body dissatisfaction were non-significant. These findings emphasise the importance of considering the sociocultural environment (i.e., new media influences) as frameworks for understanding body dissatisfaction and suggest targeting of internalisation of appearance ideals in body dissatisfaction prevention programs.

History

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

18

Issue

24

Article number

13222

Pagination

1 - 15

Publisher

MDPI

Location

Basel, Switzerland

ISSN

1661-7827

eISSN

1660-4601

Language

English

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal