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Understanding the impact of thin media models on women’s body-focused affect: the roles of thin-ideal internalization and weight-related self-discrepancy activation in experimental exposure effects

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-07, 18:25 authored by Helga Dittmar, Emma Halliwell, Emma Stirling
Previous experimental research demonstrates that exposure to ultra-thin media models has negative effects on many women's body image, but neglects underlying psychological processes. We develop and test a moderated mediation model with internalization of the thin beauty ideal as moderator, and activation of weight-related self-discrepancies as mediating mechanism through which exposure leads to heightened body-focused negative affect. We demonstrate that thin-internalizers' higher negative affect after exposure to advertisements featuring thin models is fully mediated by weight-related self-discrepancy activation (N = 87; Study 1). These findings replicate in a larger sample of women (N = 155; Study 2) and hold regardless of whether or not thin models' body size was emphasized during exposure. Implications for interventions are discussed.

History

Publication status

  • Published

Journal

Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology

ISSN

0736-7236

Publisher

Guilford Press

Issue

1

Volume

28

Page range

43-72

Pages

30.0

Department affiliated with

  • Psychology Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date

2012-02-06

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