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




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


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.


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.


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.