Does Facebook use affect body image in teen girls?
"Appearance exposure" on the Internet has been linked to body image disturbance among adolescent girls. A new study that links specific Facebook activities, but not overall Facebook use to body dissatisfaction and a drive for thinness in teen girls is published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
In the article "Facebook Photo Activity Associated with Body Image Disturbance in Adolescent Girls," Evelyn Meier and James Gray, PhD, American University, Washington, DC, present the details of a study that identified an association between Facebook time spent on photo activity and poor body image among adolescent girls who internalize a thin ideal physique. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for eating disorder prevention programs and understanding the impact of social networking sites.
"Given the connection between eating disorders and body image distortion and dissatisfaction, it is important to identify contributing factors in this particularly vulnerable group," says Brenda K. Wiederhold, PhD, MBA, BCIA, Editor-in-Chief of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, from the Interactive Media Institute, San Diego, CA. "By identifying these factors, we can move towards designing more effective prevention programs."