Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Appearance Comparison, Body Image, Body Image Disturbance, Gender, Selfies, Social Networking Sites


Michael Boroughs




Social Networking Sites (SNSs) are becoming increasingly popular in modern society, with emerging research indicating that appearance focused SNS use in particular is associated with body image concerns. The present study investigated body image disturbance and appearance related SNS behaviours, including engaging in appearance comparisons and self-photo (“selfie”) activities. A sample of 358 Canadian university students (259 females and 93 males) aged 17 to 57 years (M = 21.93 years, SD = 5.30 years) completed an online questionnaire consisting of self-report measures assessing body image disturbance, appearance comparison, selfie taking, selfie sharing, selfie investment, and selfie editing. Results indicated that body image disturbance was associated with greater degrees of appearance comparison, selfie investment, and selfie editing, as well as less frequent selfie sharing online. Frequency of selfie taking was not associated with body image disturbance. Further, the link between body image disturbance and selfie editing was found to be partially mediated by appearance comparison. Appearance comparison did not serve a mediational role for the associations between SNS use nor selfie sharing with selfie editing behaviour. Findings from this study revealed notable sex differences, with females reporting significantly higher body image disturbance and greater frequencies of the appearance related SNS behaviours measured. Implications and future research directions are discussed.