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Social media, body satisfaction and well-being among adolescents: A mediation model of appearance-ideal internalization and comparison

Jarman, Hannah K.; Marques, Mathew D.; McLean, Siân A.; Slater, Amy; Paxton, Susan J.

Authors

Hannah K. Jarman

Mathew D. Marques

Siân A. McLean

Amy Slater Amy.Slater@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Centre for Appearance Research

Susan J. Paxton



Abstract

Despite adolescents’ prolific use of social media, relationships between social media and body satisfaction and well-being are not yet well understood, especially among boys. This study tested a sociocultural model of body image within the context of social media among adolescent boys and girls. Specifically, this study examined whether appearance-ideal internalization and social appearance comparisons mediated relationships between social media engagement (intensity and appearance-focused use) and body satisfaction and subjective well-being. Australian adolescents between 11 and 17 years (N = 1,579, Mage = 13.45 years, SD = 1.15; 55.4 % boys) completed an online survey. Structural equational modelling indicated that only higher appearance-focused social media use was directly associated with lower body satisfaction and well-being. Generally, higher appearance-ideal internalization and comparisons mediated the relationships between higher social media engagement and lower body satisfaction and well-being. Multi-group analyses indicated these relationships were equivalent across gender. Findings supported the proposed model among boys and girls and extend existing theoretical knowledge to encompass male body image and well-being. Interventions which target internalization and comparisons in the context of social media are likely to be valuable in improving body satisfaction and subjective well-being in co-educational settings.

Citation

Jarman, H. K., Marques, M. D., McLean, S. A., Slater, A., & Paxton, S. J. (2021). Social media, body satisfaction and well-being among adolescents: A mediation model of appearance-ideal internalization and comparison. Body Image, 36, 139-148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.11.005

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 12, 2020
Online Publication Date Dec 4, 2020
Publication Date Mar 1, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 5, 2022
Journal Body Image
Print ISSN 1740-1445
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Pages 139-148
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.11.005
Keywords Adolescent, body image, social media, sociocultural theory, structural equation modelling, subjective well-being
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/6969412
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Social media, body satisfaction and well-being among adolescents: A mediation model of appearance-ideal internalization and comparison; Journal Title: Body Image; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.11.005; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.