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NetGirls: The Internet, Facebook, and body image concern in adolescent girls

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ABSTRACT

Objective

The primary aim of the study was to examine the relationship between Internet exposure and body image concern in adolescent girls, with a particular focus on the social networking site of Facebook.

Method

A sample of 1,087 girls in the first two years (Years 8 and 9) of high school (aged 13–15 years) completed questionnaire measures of Internet consumption and body image concerns.

Results

The overwhelming majority of girls (95.9%) had access to the Internet in their home. Time spent on the Internet was significantly related to internalization of the thin ideal, body surveillance, and drive for thinness. Further, 75% of the girls had a Facebook profile, and spent an average of 1.5 hours there daily. Facebook users scored significantly more highly on all body image concern measures than non-users.

Discussion

It was concluded that the Internet represents a potent socio-cultural medium of relevance to the body image of adolescent girls. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:630–633)

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