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J Youth Adolesc. 2016 Jan;45(1):211-24. doi: 10.1007/s10964-015-0266-4. Epub 2015 Mar 19.

Adolescents' Social Network Site Use, Peer Appearance-Related Feedback, and Body Dissatisfaction: Testing a Mediation Model.

Author information

1
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 15791, 1001 NG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. d.a.devries@uva.nl.
2
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR), University of Amsterdam, P.O. Box 15791, 1001 NG, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Rutgers WPF, P.O. Box 9022, 3506 GA, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
4
Netherlands Youth Institute, P.O. Box 19221, 3501 DE, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Previous correlational research indicates that adolescent girls who use social network sites more frequently are more dissatisfied with their bodies. However, we know little about the causal direction of this relationship, the mechanisms underlying this relationship, and whether this relationship also occurs among boys to the same extent. The present two-wave panel study (18 month time lag) among 604 Dutch adolescents (aged 11-18; 50.7% female; 97.7% native Dutch) aimed to fill these gaps in knowledge. Structural equation modeling showed that social network site use predicted increased body dissatisfaction and increased peer influence on body image in the form of receiving peer appearance-related feedback. Peer appearance-related feedback did not predict body dissatisfaction and thus did not mediate the effect of social network site use on body dissatisfaction. Gender did not moderate the findings. Hence, social network sites can play an adverse role in the body image of both adolescent boys and girls.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescence; Appearance ideals; Body image; Gender; Peer influence; Social media

PMID:
25788122
PMCID:
PMC4698286
DOI:
10.1007/s10964-015-0266-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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