Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Degree

Master of Science in Athletic Training

Department

Kinesiology

Committee Chair

Tona Hetzler

Keywords

body esteem, social psychology, athletics, appearance, social comparison.

Subject Categories

Sports Sciences

Abstract

Social media use has become increasingly popular in the past decade with all demographics. The significance of this research relates to the serious risk factors as a result of body dissatisfaction, including low self esteem, depression, eating disorders and obesity. Literature on the psychological effects of social media on perception of body satisfaction is lacking for the collegiate female athlete population. This mixed-methods study investigated the amount of time spent on social media in relationship to self-reported body satisfaction scores in collegiate female athletes. One-hundred and two collegiate female athletes were surveyed via an online survey about body satisfaction, time spent on social media, and perceptions of weight and appearance. There was no correlation between the total time spent on social media and reported body satisfaction scores (r = -.16, P= .10). A mediation calculation showed no correlation between participants' perception of their weight and reported body satisfaction scores (Z= 1.17, P= .24, K2= .03). A mediation calculation showed no correlation between participants' reported body satisfaction scores and their perception of appearance in uniform (Z= -.60, P= .55, K2= .02). Six domains emerged from qualitative content analysis: 1) social comparison, 2) body satisfaction in and out of competition, 3) size, appearance and weight, 4) internalization of beauty standards, 5) control of weight, 6) and time. Conclusions from this research suggest that social media is not a strong variable that affects collegiate female athletes' reported body satisfaction.

Copyright

© Megan Elizabeth Jeffris

Open Access

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