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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 contributionposted 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.
JournalJournal of Social and Clinical Psychology
Department affiliated with
- Psychology Publications
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