This study analyzed the relationships between social network site use and body image in adolescents, while taking into account internalized body ideals. Social network sites are a newer form of social media and the research base on them and the effects of interacting with them continues to grow. This study looked at and compared visually-oriented social network sites and non-visually-oriented sites. Further, this study included males, which isn’t often done, so comparisons between gender could be made. There were 94 male and female participants, in grades 9–12, from two school districts in rural western New York. Analyses showed that the social networking site use measures lacked strong statistical backing (i.e., reliability and validity), indicating adolescents’ potential difficulty with accurate social network site use reporting and a need for better measures. Thus, results should be interpreted with caution. Results indicated that greater usage of social network sites was not related to body image. It was found that greater internalization of appearance ideals was significantly related to poorer body image for both male and female adolescents. For male participants only, a relationship was found that ran contrary to what was hypothesized; male participants who endorsed more visually-oriented social network site use reported more positive body image. For both males and females, there was a relationship between parental education and body image. Additionally, for males, there were also relationships found between parental education and internalization, body mass index (BMI) and body image, and BMI and internalization. These findings encourage further examination of these newer forms of media, internalized body ideals, and body image in adolescence. Additionally, this study demonstrates the need for further research that includes male adolescents.
|Commitee:||Burch, Andrea, Gardner, Rachel, Furlong, Nancy|
|Department:||Division of Counseling and School Psychology|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Web Studies, Educational psychology, Social psychology|
|Keywords:||Body esteem, Body image, Gender, Internalization, Social media, Visual media|
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