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An exploration of the tripartite influence model of body image in Lithuanian sample of young adults: does body weight make a difference?

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The present study aimed to test the sociocultural Tripartite Influence Model (TIM) that helps to explain the associations between the sociocultural pressures to achieve stereotyped body ideals and disordered eating in young Lithuanian women and men of different body mass.


A mixed-gender sample of students (n = 1850, 58.8% female, the mean age of men was 20.4 (SD = 3.1) years, of women 22.4 (SD = 5.8) years) filled in series of questionnaires including the social attitudes towards appearance, body image, disordered eating and drive for muscularity. Mediation analyses were performed to estimate the size of total, direct, and indirect effects of variables in the models.


For women of different body weight, the TIM model was fully replicated. For men of normal weight, internalization of the muscular/athletic ideal, drive for muscularity and greater investment towards appearance mediated the relationships between peers’ pressures and disordered eating. For overweight men, internalization of the thin and muscular/athletic ideals, poorer body image mediated associations between pressure from the peers and disordered eating. However, the internalization of the muscular/athletic ideal and the greater appearance evaluation mediated the associations between sociocultural pressures and disordered eating for overweight and obese men.


The TIM was replicated in women of different body weight. However, internalization of the thin/low fat ideal was not relevant for men of normal body weight and internalization of the muscular ideal had different outcomes for men of different body mass index. The implications of the results for practice are discussed.

Level of evidence

V, Cross-sectional descriptive study.

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Availability of data and material

The dataset generated and analyzed during the current study is not publicly available but are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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The authors wish to thank Ph.D. student Vaiva Balciuniene for her contribution in data collection.


This research did not receive any funding.

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Authors and Affiliations



Conceptualization, RJ, MB; methodology, RJ, MB; software, MB; validation, RJ, MB; formal analysis, MB; investigation, RJ, MB; resources, RJ, MB; data curation, MB; writing original draft preparation, RJ, MB; writing review and editing, RJ, MB; supervision, RJ; project administration, RJ.

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Correspondence to Migle Baceviciene.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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The article is part of the Topical Collection on Males and Eating and Weight Disorders.



See Tables 2, 3 and 4.

Table 2 Summary of mediation analyses testing the indirect effect of perceived pressure and internalization of the body ideal on body image and disordered eating behaviors in female students (n = 975)
Table 3 Summary of mediation analyses testing the indirect effect of self-esteem, perceived pressure, and internalization of the body ideal on body image and disordered eating behaviors in male students with normal body mass index (n = 536)
Table 4 Summary of mediation analyses testing the indirect effect of perceived pressure and internalization of the body ideal on body image and disordered eating behaviors in overweight and obese male students (n = 193)

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Jankauskiene, R., Baceviciene, M. An exploration of the tripartite influence model of body image in Lithuanian sample of young adults: does body weight make a difference?. Eat Weight Disord 26, 1781–1791 (2021).

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