Date of Graduation

Spring 2015

Degree

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Brooke Whisenhunt

Keywords

body image, body dissatisfaction, media, female body shape, negative affect, ecological momentary assessment

Subject Categories

Psychology

Abstract

The current study aimed to assess the effects of media consumption on body dissatisfaction and negative affect using Ecological Momentary Assessment, a method of assessment over time and in the participants' naturalistic environment. Thirty undergraduate female participants were assessed randomly five times per day for five days via text messages sent to their phones. During each assessment, participants reported the number of minutes spent watching TV, reading a magazine, and using the internet, as well as their current levels of negative affect and body dissatisfaction. Results demonstrated that the total time spent consuming media was a significant predictor of guilty feelings. Further results demonstrated that internet use specifically is a significant predictor of guilty feelings. The results indicated that overall media consumption did not significantly predict body dissatisfaction. These findings are particularly interesting given the focus in recent years on developing media literacy interventions for negative body image and eating pathology. Further examinations comparing the effects of overall media consumption versus body-focused media consumption may identify which specific content area are causing the negative effects demonstrated in previous research. Future work should also further investigate the relationship between guilt and online media consumption to determine what role, if any, guilt may have in the development or exacerbation of body dissatisfaction over time.

Copyright

© Brooke Lauren Bennett

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons

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