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J Abnorm Psychol. 1994 Nov;103(4):836-40.

Relation of media exposure to eating disorder symptomatology: an examination of mediating mechanisms.

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Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-1104.


Although investigators have postulated that the thin ideal for women espoused in the media is related to the high rates of eating disorders among females, little research has examined the relation between media exposure and eating pathology. This study assessed the relation of media exposure to eating disorder symptoms and tested whether gender-role endorsement, ideal-body stereotype internalization, and body satisfaction mediated this effect. In data from 238 female undergraduates, structural equation modeling revealed a direct effect of media exposure on eating disorder symptoms. Furthermore, mediational linkages were found for gender-role endorsement, ideal body stereotype internalization, and body satisfaction. The results support the assertion that internalization of sociocultural pressures mediate the adverse effects of the thin ideal.

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