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Body Image. 2015 Mar;13:38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.12.002. Epub 2015 Jan 20.

Social comparisons on social media: the impact of Facebook on young women's body image concerns and mood.

Author information

  • 1School of Psychology, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Electronic address: jasmine.fardouly@unsw.edu.au.
  • 2Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldhardour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Phillippa.Diedrichs@uwe.ac.uk.
  • 3School of Psychology, UNSW Australia, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Electronic address: l.vartanian@unsw.edu.au.
  • 4Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Frenchay Campus, Coldhardour Lane, Bristol BS16 1QY, United Kingdom. Electronic address: Emma.Halliwell@uwe.ac.uk.

Abstract

The present study experimentally investigated the effect of Facebook usage on women's mood and body image, whether these effects differ from an online fashion magazine, and whether appearance comparison tendency moderates any of these effects. Female participants (N=112) were randomly assigned to spend 10min browsing their Facebook account, a magazine website, or an appearance-neutral control website before completing state measures of mood, body dissatisfaction, and appearance discrepancies (weight-related, and face, hair, and skin-related). Participants also completed a trait measure of appearance comparison tendency. Participants who spent time on Facebook reported being in a more negative mood than those who spent time on the control website. Furthermore, women high in appearance comparison tendency reported more facial, hair, and skin-related discrepancies after Facebook exposure than exposure to the control website. Given its popularity, more research is needed to better understand the impact that Facebook has on appearance concerns.

KEYWORDS:

Appearance-related social comparison; Body image concerns; Facebook; Magazine; Mood; Social media

PMID:
25615425
DOI:
10.1016/j.bodyim.2014.12.002
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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