Date of Award

2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.Sc.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Jarry, JosΘe (Psychology)

Keywords

Psychology.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This study examined the impact of media that ridicules women for gaining weight on body image satisfaction, appearance self-esteem, fear of negative appearance evaluation, negative affect, and anti-fat attitudes. Female undergraduates (N=240) were randomly assigned to view tabloid-style pictures and accompanying articles about average-size female celebrities that either derogated each celebrity for gaining weight, or provided neutral information about her life. Women in the weight-based derogatory media condition reported lower appearance self-esteem and body image satisfaction, and greater fear of negative appearance evaluation than women in the neutral media condition. Experimental condition did not predict negative affect. Dietary restraint and history of weight-related teasing were tested as potential vulnerability factors, but were not significant as moderators. Additionally, participants in the experimental condition reported lower anti-fat attitudes than women in the control condition. This is the first study to find adverse effects of exposure to weight-based derogatory media.

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