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J Affect Disord. 2013 Jul;149(1-3):235-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.032. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Status update: maladaptive Facebook usage predicts increases in body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Miami University, Oxford, OH, USA. aprilsmith@miamioh.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The current study examined the effects of online social evaluations and comparisons on body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms.

METHODS:

We tested the effects of maladaptive Facebook usage (defined as the tendency to seek negative social evaluations and/or engage in social comparisons via Facebook) on body dissatisfaction and bulimic symptoms in a sample of 232 college females followed for approximately 4 weeks.

RESULTS:

Results provided evidence that maladaptive Facebook usage significantly predicted increases in bulimic symptoms and episodes of over-eating approximately four weeks later. Body dissatisfaction was found to fully mediate the relationship between maladaptive Facebook usage and increases in over-eating episodes, whereas body dissatisfaction partially mediated the relationship between maladaptive Facebook usage and increases in bulimic symptoms more broadly.

LIMITATIONS:

Limitations include the use of a novel measure of maladaptive Facebook usage due to the absence of an existing measure and a non-clinical sample.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results of this study suggest that reducing maladaptive Facebook usage may be a fruitful target for interventions aimed at reducing body dissatisfaction and symptoms of eating pathology.

PMID:
23453676
DOI:
10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.032
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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