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Think 'thin' and feel bad: the role of appearance schema activation, attention level, and thin-ideal internalization for young women's responses to ultra-thin media ideals
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 17:58 authored by Amy Brown, Helga Dittmar
This study extends previous demonstrations that thin media models have a negative impact on young women’s body image by examining howthis effect occurs. In addition to thin–ideal internalization, shown to moderate this impact (Dittmar & Howard, 2004; Halliwell & Dittmar, 2004a), it investigates two further factors not previously explored together: first, the level of attention at which women process thin images and, second, appearance schema activation as an underlying process that mediates the exposure–anxiety link. Seventy-five women were exposed to either neutral advertisements (no models) or to thin models, at either low or high attention, manipulated by exposure time (10 s vs. 150 ms) and focus instructions. Thin models increase weight–related anxiety to the extent that women internalize the thin ideal, but anxiety is heightened further under conditions of high attention. These two effects are independent, and only the first is mediated fully by appearance schema activation. Research and intervention implications are discussed.
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
NotesSpecial Issue: Body Image and Eating Disorders: Sociocultural Pressures and Perceptions. (Supervised first author).
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