Skip to main content

Predictors of Media Effects on Body Dissatisfaction in European American Women


This study involved a sample of 81 European American women viewing either appearance-related or non-appearance-related magazine advertisements. Participants completed measures of demographics and objectified body consciousness prior to viewing these images and a measure of body dissatisfaction prior to and after viewing the images. Body dissatisfaction scores worsened after viewing images of women who exemplified cultural standards of the thin beauty ideal. Neither objectified body consciousness nor body mass index predicted degree of change in body dissatisfaction after viewing the images. In other words, the impact of viewing the images was the same for all women, despite varying body mass index levels and varied degrees of objectified body consciousness. Implications are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. The same analysis was also conducted as an ANOVA, without the covariates. The results of the ANOVA (including post-hoc tests) were very similar to those of the ANCOVA.


  • Cattarin, J. A., & Thompson, J. K. (1994). A three-year longitudinal study of body image, eating disturbance, and general psychological functioning in adolescent females. Eating Disorders, 2, 114–125.

    Google Scholar 

  • Franzoi, S. L. (1994). Further evidence of the reliability and validity of the Body Esteem Scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 50, 237–239.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Franzoi, S. L., & Herzog, M. E. (1986). The Body Esteem Scale: A convergent and discriminant validity study. Journal of Personality Assessment, 50, 24–31.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Franzoi, S. L., & Shields, S. A. (1984). The Body Esteem Scale: Multidimensional structure and sex differences in a college population. Journal of Personality Assessment, 48, 173–179.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Fredrickson, B., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). Objectification theory: Toward understanding women’s lived experiences and mental health risks. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21, 173–206.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Groesz, L. M., Levine, M. P., & Murnen, S. K. (2002). The effect of experimental manipulation of the thin media images on body satisfaction: A meta-analytical review. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 3, 1–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harrison, K. (2003). Television viewers’ ideal body proportions: The case of the curvaceously thin woman. Sex Roles, 48, 255–264.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McKinley, N. M., & Hyde, J. S. (1996). The Objectified Body Consciousness Scale: Development and validation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20, 181–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Milkie, M. A. (1999). Societal comparisons, reflected appraisals, and mass media: The impact of pervasive beauty images on Black and White girls self concepts. Social Psychology Quarterly, 62, 190–210.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Morry, M., & Staska, S. (2002). Magazine exposure: Internalization, self-objectification, eating attitudes, and body satisfaction in male and female university students. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Science, 33, 269–279.

    Google Scholar 

  • National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (1998). Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults (NIH Publication No. 98-4083). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

    Google Scholar 

  • Posavac, H., Posavac, S., & Weigel, R. (2001). Reducing the impact of media images for women at risk for body image disturbance: Three targeted interventions. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 20, 324–340.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shaw, J., & Waller, G. (1996). The media’s impact on body image: Implications for prevention and treatment. Eating Disorders, 3, 115–123.

    Google Scholar 

  • Stice, E. (2001). Risk factors for eating pathology: Recent advances and future directions. In R. H. Striegel-Moore, & L. Smolak (Eds.), Eating disorders: Innovative directions in research and practice (pp. 51–73). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    Chapter  Google Scholar 

  • Tiggemann, M. (2001). Person*situation interactions in body dissatisfaction. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29, 65–70.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Thompson, J. K., & Heinberg, L. J. (1999). The media’s influence on body image disturbance and eating disorders: We’ve reviled them, now can we rehabilitate them? Journal of Social Issues, 55, 339–353.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wiseman, C. F., Gray, J. J., Mosimann, J. E., & Ahrens, A. H. (1992). Cultural expectations of thinness in women: An update. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 11, 85–89.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Susan Kashubeck-West.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hamilton, E.A., Mintz, L. & Kashubeck-West, S. Predictors of Media Effects on Body Dissatisfaction in European American Women. Sex Roles 56, 397–402 (2007).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: