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Abstract

Objective:

This study aimed to investigate the relationship between media exposure and body dissatisfaction and disordered eating in a more finely grained way than in previous studies.

Method:

A sample of 104 female undergraduate students completed measures of both magazine and television exposure, as well as measures of body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, awareness and internalization of societal ideals.

Results:

While both media exposure variables were correlated with body dissatisfaction, the pattern of correlations was very different with the other variables. In particular, the amount of magazine reading, but not television watching, was positively correlated with internalization of thin ideals. On the other hand, time spent watching television was negatively correlated with awareness of sociocultural ideals and self-esteem.

Discussion:

It was concluded that the processes through which television and magazines impact on body dissatisfaction are different. The relationship between magazine exposure and body dissatisfaction is mediated by internalization of thin ideals, which is not the case for television exposure. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.