Understanding the impact of thin media models on women’s body-focused affect: the roles of thin-ideal internalization and weight-related self-discrepancy activation in experimental exposure effects

Dittmar, Helga, Halliwell, Emma and Stirling, Emma (2009) Understanding the impact of thin media models on women’s body-focused affect: the roles of thin-ideal internalization and weight-related self-discrepancy activation in experimental exposure effects. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28 (1). pp. 43-72. ISSN 0736-7236

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Abstract

Previous experimental research demonstrates that exposure to ultra-thin media models has negative effects on many women's body image, but neglects underlying psychological processes. We develop and test a moderated mediation model with internalization of the thin beauty ideal as moderator, and activation of weight-related self-discrepancies as mediating mechanism through which exposure leads to heightened body-focused negative affect. We demonstrate that thin-internalizers' higher negative affect after exposure to advertisements featuring thin models is fully mediated by weight-related self-discrepancy activation (N = 87; Study 1). These findings replicate in a larger sample of women (N = 155; Study 2) and hold regardless of whether or not thin models' body size was emphasized during exposure. Implications for interventions are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Helga Dittmar
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:42
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2017 12:29
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13970
Google Scholar:28 Citations
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