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Body Image: The Impact of Social Media and Social Comparison on Young Women and Ethnic Differences

Gorry, Rachel (2021) Body Image: The Impact of Social Media and Social Comparison on Young Women and Ethnic Differences. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Abstract

Aims: Social media is growing exponentially and shares strong ideals about how a person should look and be. As this newer form of media grows, so do questions around how it affects body image and unhealthy behaviours. The current study aimed to understand the impact that the use of social media and social comparison have on young women’s body image. Because the mainstream ideals shared among this form of media largely consists of white, euro centric features, this study also looks at the differences of these impacts according to ethnicity.

Method: A survey consisting of demographic questions, the Social Media Engagement Questionnaire (SMEQ), the Social Comparison Scale (SCS) and the Body Image State Scale (BISS) was shared among multiple social media platforms to recruit 159 female participants between the ages of 18 – 29 years old.

Results: Results of a standard multiple regression analysis showed that both social media engagement and social comparison have statistically significant effects on body image state. A one-way between-groups ANOVA showed that body image scores significantly differed between white, black and other ethnic participants. This showed that white participants had the least favourable body image, other ethnic participants had the second least favourable body image and black participants had the most favourable body image.

Conclusion: Findings further expand evidence that the use of social media is a cause for body image concerns. Additionally, this study challenges previous studies findings that suggest black women are not impacted by social media and that other ethnic women score more alike white women, whereas in the current study it was found they scored more alike black women. The findings of this study further bring awareness to practical implications that need to be taken concerning social media engagement.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Body image
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Cognitive psychology
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4150 Computer Network Resources > The Internet > World Wide Web > Websites > Online social networks
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering > Telecommunications > The Internet > World Wide Web > Websites > Online social networks
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 15:42
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 15:15
URI: http://norma.ncirl.ie/id/eprint/4937

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