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Eat Disord. 2012;20(2):99-112. doi: 10.1080/10640266.2012.653944.

Drive for muscularity and drive for thinness: the impact of pro-anorexia websites.

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Psychology Department, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho 83725-1715, USA.


In recent years, websites that stress the message of thinness as the ideal and only choice have surfaced on the internet. The possibility that pro-anorexia websites may reinforce restrictive eating and exercise behaviors is an area of concern. In addition, friends may be influencing one another to view these websites, further contributing to drive for thinness in women and drive for muscularity in men. Three hundred male and female undergraduate psychology students responded to questionnaires assessing: internalization of pro-anorexia website content, internalization of general media content, influence of friends to view pro-anorexia websites, peer influence, drive for muscularity, and drive for thinness. Results showed internalization of pro-anorexia website content was positively correlated with drive for thinness in women, and negatively correlated with drive for muscularity in men. Internalization of pro-anorexia website content was found to be related to both drive for thinness in women and drive for muscularity in men.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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