Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Effects of Facebook on Users' Body Image, Eating Patterns, & Self-Esteem
by Hemrich, Ashley, M.A., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2014, 66; 1558881
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study was to determine whether viewing the Facebook profiles of women differing in levels of attractiveness and thinness would influence the viewer's self-esteem, eating patterns, and body image. Specifically, it was hypothesized that viewing the profile of an attractive, thin woman would result in the reduction of self-esteem and body image with an increase in eating disorder-related thoughts and behaviors, while viewing the Facebook profile of a heavier and less attractive woman would bolster self-esteem and body image while reducing disordered eating thoughts and behaviors in a college-aged, female population. Contrary to the hypotheses, none of the analyses revealed a significant interaction. However, there was a significant main effect for time on eating attitudes and behaviors, suggesting that participants' attitudes toward eating became significantly worse over time. This study is unique in that it is the first to experimentally test whether the attractiveness level of the viewed Facebook profile would affect body image, self-esteem, and/or eating attitudes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Pawlow, Laura A.
Commitee: Pomerantz, Andrew, Segrist, Daniel
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 53/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Web Studies
Keywords: Body image, Disordered eating, Eating patterns, Facebook, Self-esteem
Publication Number: 1558881
ISBN: 9781303992940
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