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J Abnorm Psychol. 2009 Nov;118(4):683-98. doi: 10.1037/a0016763.

Social comparison as a predictor of body dissatisfaction: A meta-analytic review.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Kent State University, OH 44242, USA. tmyers3@kent.edu

Abstract

The relationship between social comparison and body dissatisfaction was examined using meta-analysis. Several demographic and methodological variables were examined as potential moderators. Data from 156 studies (189 effect sizes) showed that social comparison was related to higher levels of body dissatisfaction. The effect for social comparison and body dissatisfaction was stronger for women than men and inversely related to age. This effect was stronger when social comparison was directly measured rather than inferred. No differences emerged for the presence of eating psychopathology, study design, or object of comparison. Results confirm theory and research suggesting that comparing oneself unfavorably to another on the basis of appearance may lead to dissatisfaction with one's own appearance. Moderator variables refine our understanding of the social comparison-body dissatisfaction relationship. These constructs and their relationship should be explored further in future studies.

PMID:
19899839
DOI:
10.1037/a0016763
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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