Thin-ideal media and women's body dissatisfaction: Prevention using downward social comparisons on non-appearance dimensions

Ann Marie Lew, Traci Mann, Hector Myers, Shelley Taylor, Julienne Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exposure to thin-ideal media has adverse effects on the body satisfaction of women with higher levels of body image disturbance. In a study involving 109 UCLA female undergraduates, we examined the effectiveness of an intervention that was based on downward social comparison theory and the selection of alternative comparison dimensions. All participants had higher levels of body dissatisfaction and viewed pictures of fashion models; the intervention group compared downward with the models on non-appearance dimensions in writing, whereas the control group described the models in writing. We hypothesized that the intervention group would experience more positive shifts in body and weight satisfaction, anxiety about appearance, and desire to lose weight than would the control group. The results supported our hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-556
Number of pages14
JournalSex Roles
Volume57
Issue number7-8
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

Keywords

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Media
  • Social comparison

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