Impact of interactive school-based media literacy lessons for reducing internalization of media ideals in young adolescent girls and boys

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Abstract

Objective:

The primary objective of the current study was to examine the efficacy of single media literacy lessons in reducing media internalization in young adolescents.

Method:

Eleven classes of 237 students (100 girls and 137 boys; mean age = 13.79 years, SD = .42) randomly received 1 of 6 lessons. Eating disorder risk factors were assessed at baseline, and the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire-3 (SATAQ-3) was used to assess media internalization postintervention.

Results:

At postintervention, boys had significantly lower SATAQ-3 scores on 4 of the 5 subscales (effect sizes = .42–.71), whereas girls had significantly lower scores on 1 subscale (effect size = .54). Higher baseline levels of dietary restraint, magazines bought/read, and perceived sociocultural pressure predicted smaller reductions in boys' scores, whereas depression predicted smaller reductions in girls' scores.

Conclusion:

The current study provides support that boys be included in eating disorder prevention programs and that media literacy may represent a promising prevention approach. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006.

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