The Relationship Between Body Image Concerns, Eating Disorders and Internet Use, Part I: A Review of Empirical Support

Adolescent Research Review, Oct 2015

Evidence for a relationship between Internet use and body image and eating concerns has started to emerge, however, to date, this literature has not been reviewed. The objective of the present study was, therefore, to review the literature examining the relationship between the use of Internet and social media and body image and eating concerns, and summarize the main findings. Databases were searched for published empirical studies examining the relationship between body image and eating concerns and Internet use. Our search identified 67 studies. The findings indicate the presence of appearance-related content on Internet and social media, including content promoting extreme body shapes or behaviors. The results from qualitative, correlational and experimental studies overall support the relationship between Internet use and body image and eating concerns. The studies identified were grounded in three main theoretical frameworks: sociocultural, objectification theory, and social identity theory; however, other more minor frameworks were also used. The use of Internet, and particularly appearance-focused social media, is associated with heightened body image and eating concerns. Developmental characteristics may make adolescents particularly vulnerable to these effects.

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The Relationship Between Body Image Concerns, Eating Disorders and Internet Use, Part I: A Review of Empirical Support

Adolescent Res Rev The Relationship Between Body Image Concerns, Eating Disorders and Internet Use, Part I: A Review of Empirical Support Rachel F. Rodgers 0 1 2 Tiffany Melioli 0 1 2 0 Laboratoire de Stress Traumatique , Universite ́ Paul Sabatier, Toulouse , France 1 Department of Applied Psychology, Northeastern University , 404 International Village, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 , USA 2 CERPP, Universite ́ Jean Jaure`s , Toulouse , France Evidence for a relationship between Internet use and body image and eating concerns has started to emerge, however, to date, this literature has not been reviewed. The objective of the present study was, therefore, to review the literature examining the relationship between the use of Internet and social media and body image and eating concerns, and summarize the main findings. Databases were searched for published empirical studies examining the relationship between body image and eating concerns and Internet use. Our search identified 67 studies. The findings indicate the presence of appearance-related content on Internet and social media, including content promoting extreme body shapes or behaviors. The results from qualitative, correlational and experimental studies overall support the relationship between Internet use and body image and eating concerns. The studies identified were grounded in three main theoretical frameworks: sociocultural, objectification theory, and social identity theory; however, other more minor frameworks were also used. The use of Internet, and particularly appearance-focused social media, is associated with heightened body image and eating concerns. Developmental characteristics may make adolescents particularly vulnerable to these effects. 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Overall, qualitative data regarding the relationship between Internet and social media use and body image and eating concerns are scarce. However, the existing data in the literature do support this relationship. Furthermore, these data highlight the impact of social media in particular. Quantitative Data Correlational and Longitudinal Studies Experimental Studies Theoretical Backgrounds Sociocultural Theory Self-Objectification Theory Social Identity Theory Other Theoretical Frameworks Discussion Conclusion Compliance with Ethical Standards References 9 , 1 = s 9 , se leg e ,6 ts e e ts 2 1 52 ,e lo ag 3 e ag ag = en = :N eeg = 12 la c n 0 g n n 2 le a a Alarco´n-del-Amo , M. -d .-C., Lorenzo-Romero , C. , & Go´mez-Borja , M. -A´ . ( 2011 ). Classifying and profiling social networking site users: A latent segmentation approach . Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking , 14 ( 9 ), 547 - 553 . doi:10. 1089/cyber.2010.0346. Alpaslan , A. H. , Koc¸ak, U., Avci , K. , & Tas¸, H. 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Rachel F. Rodgers, Tiffany Melioli. The Relationship Between Body Image Concerns, Eating Disorders and Internet Use, Part I: A Review of Empirical Support, Adolescent Research Review, 2016, 95-119, DOI: 10.1007/s40894-015-0016-6