Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Psychology; Psychology

Project Advisor 1

Richard Gordon, PhD

Project Advisor 2

Tom Cain, PhD

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Eating disorders have demonstrated the most extreme rise in prevalence out of all the mental illnesses since 1990 (Lozano et al., 2012). However, research has largely neglected to investigate cross-cultural effects on disordered eating, and thus, findings may only apply to Western samples. Only two known prior studies have investigated effects of social media on disordered eating cross-culturally. This project helps fill a substantial research gap by examining social media effects on body image concerns in a culturally diverse sample of Australian undergraduate women (N= 185). The effect of a ten-minute Facebook exposure on women’s body dissatisfaction and appearance comparison tendencies will be investigated, while considering a possible moderating effect of ethnicity. Utilizing a pre-/post-exposure pseudo-experimental design, it was predicted that Asian Australian participants (n=92) would experience a ten-minute Facebook exposure differently than European Australian participants (n=93). Regression analyses revealed that, in general, the brief Facebook exposure pseudo-experimentally increased body image concerns for the European Australians, but the Asian Australians remained seemingly unaffected. Interestingly, the groups significantly differed in the amount of appearance comparisons to different groups; i.e. the European Australians reported significantly more appearance comparisons made on Facebook to celebrities than the Asian Australians. These findings reinforce and extend the central tenets of the Tripartite Influence Model, and suggest necessary future directions for research on social media and disordered eating across diverse populations.

Open Access Agreement

Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
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