Advertisement

Sex Roles

, Volume 48, Issue 9–10, pp 389–399 | Cite as

For Your Health? The Relationship Between Magazine Reading and Adolescents' Body Image and Eating Disturbances

  • Renée A. Botta
Article

Abstract

Research has indicated female adolescents are more vulnerable to body image disturbance than male adolescents. However, scholars have begun to examine the increased emphasis on muscularity for men. The current supposition is that a drive to be muscular may be as dangerous for adolescent boys as a drive to be thin is for adolescent girls. Sports, health, and fitness magazines may be a meaningful training ground for adolescents to learn the importance of muscularity and the methods to obtain these perfect sports bodies. Magazines also reinforce the rewards that accompany the attainment of “perfect” bodies. Nearly 400 high school and college students from an urban area in the Midwest were surveyed to test the extent to which reading fashion, sports, and health/fitness magazines is related to body image and eating disturbances, including the added dimension of muscularity. Results indicate that magazine reading, social comparisons, and critical body image processing are important predictors of body image and eating disturbances for adolescent boys and girls.

body image eating disorders social comparisons adolescents magazines 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Anderson, A. E., & Di Domenico, L. (1992). Diet vs. shape content of popular male and female magazines: A dose response relationship to the incidence of eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 11, 283-287.Google Scholar
  2. Bahrke, M. S., Yesalis, C. E., & Brower, K. J. (1998). Anabolic–androgenic steroid abuse and performance-enhancing drugs among adolescents. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 7, 821-838.Google Scholar
  3. Botta, R. A. (1999). Television images and adolescent girls' body image disturbance. Journal of Communication, 49, 22-41.Google Scholar
  4. Botta, R. A. (2000a). The mirror of television: A comparison of Black and White adolescents' body image. Journal of Communication, 50, 144-159.Google Scholar
  5. Botta, R. A. (2000b, June). Frustrated and guilty. Critical but not active. The link between critical viewing and body image disturbance. Paper presented to the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association, Acapulco, Mexico.Google Scholar
  6. Brooks-Gunn, J., Warren, M. P., Rosso, J., & Gargiulo, J. (1987). Validity of self-report measures of girls'pubertal status. Child Development, 58, 829-841.Google Scholar
  7. Cohane, G. H., & Pope, H. G. (2001). Body image in boys: A review of the literature. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29, 373-379.Google Scholar
  8. Cusumano, D. L., & Thompson, K. J. (1997). Body image and body shape ideals in magazines: Exposure, awareness and internalization. Sex Roles, 37, 701-721.Google Scholar
  9. Davis, C., Shapiro, M. C., Elliot, S., & Dionne, M. (1993). Personality and other correlates of dietary restraint: An age by sex comparison. Personality and Individual Differences, 14, 297-305.Google Scholar
  10. Franzoi, S. L. (1995). The body-as-object versus the body-as-process: Gender differences and gender considerations. Sex Roles, 33, 417-438.Google Scholar
  11. Furnham, A., & Calnan, A. (1998). Eating disturbance, self-esteem, reasons for exercising, and body weight dissatisfaction in adolescent males. European Eating Disorders Review, 6, 58-72.Google Scholar
  12. Garner, D. M., & Garfinkel, P. E. (1979). The Eating Attitudes Test: An index of the symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Psychological Medicine, 9, 273-279.Google Scholar
  13. Garner, D. M., & Olmstead, M. P. (1991). Eating disorders Inventory—2. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Garner, D. M., Olmstead, M. P., & Polivy, J. (1984). Development and validation of a multidimensional eating disorder inventory for anorexia nervosa and bulimia. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 2, 15-34.Google Scholar
  15. Goldberg, L., MacKinnon, D. P., Elliot, D. L., Moe, E. L., Clarke, G., & Cheong, J. (2000). The adolescents training and learning to avoid steroids program: Preventing drug use and promoting health behaviors. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 154, 332-340.Google Scholar
  16. Groesz, L. M., Levine, M. P., & Murnen, S. K. (2002). The effect of experimental presentation of thin media images on body satisfaction: A meta-analytic review. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 31, 1-16.Google Scholar
  17. Harrison, K. (2000). Television viewing, fat stereotyping, body shape standards, and eating disorder symptomatology in grade school children. Communication Research, 27, 617-640.Google Scholar
  18. Harrison, K. (2001). Ourselves, our bodies: Thin-ideal media, self discrepancies, and eating disorder symptomatology in adolescents. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 20, 289-323.Google Scholar
  19. Harrison, K., & Cantor, J. (1997). The relationship between media consumption and eating disorders. Journal of Communication, 47(1), 40-67.Google Scholar
  20. Heinberg, L. J., & Thompson, J. K. (1992). Social comparison: Gender, target importance ratings and relation to body image disturbance. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 7, 335-344.Google Scholar
  21. Irving, L. M., & Berel, S. R. (2001). Comparison of media–literacy programs to strengthen college women's resistance to media images. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 25, 103-111.Google Scholar
  22. Johnston, L. D., O'Malley, P. M., & Bachman, J. G. (1998). Monitoring the Future Study 1998: Trends in Prevelance of Various Drugs for 8th Graders and High School Seniors. Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health.Google Scholar
  23. Jones, D. C. (2001). Social comparison and body image: Attractiveness comparisons to models and peers among adolescent girls and boys. Sex Roles, 45, 645-664.Google Scholar
  24. Levine, M. P., & Smolak, L. (1996). Media as a context for the development of disordered eating. In L. Smolak, M. P. Levine, and R. Striegel-Moore (Eds.), The developmental psychopathology of eating disorders (pp. 235-257). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Levine, M. P., Smolak, L., & Hayden, H. (1994). The relation of sociocultural factors to eating attitudes and behaviors among middle school girls. Journal of Early Adolescence, 14, 471-490.Google Scholar
  26. Lynch, S. M., & Zellner, D. A. (1999). Figure preferences in two generations of men: The use of figure drawings illustrating differences in muscle mass. Sex Roles, 40, 833-842.Google Scholar
  27. Martin, M. C., & Kennedy, P. F. (1993). Advertising and social comparison: Consequences for female preadolescents and adolescents. Psychology and Marketing, 10, 513-530.Google Scholar
  28. Milkie, M. A. (1999). Social 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.Google Scholar
  29. Meyers-Levy, J. (1989). Gender differences in information processing: A selectivity interpretation. In P. Cafferata & A. Tybout (Eds.), Cognitive and affective responses to advertising (pp. 219-260). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  30. Meyers-Levy, J., & Maheswaran, D. (1991). Exploring differences in males' and females' processing strategies. Journal of Consumer Research, 18, 63-70.Google Scholar
  31. Meyers-Levy, J., & Sternthal, B. (1991). Gender differences in the use of message cues and judgments. Journal of Marketing Research, 28, 84-96.Google Scholar
  32. Nemeroff, C. J., Stein, R. I., Diehl, N. S., & Smilack, K. M. (1994). From the Cleavers to the Clintons: Role choices and body orientation as reflected in magazine article content. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 16, 167-176.Google Scholar
  33. Nathanson, A. I., & Botta, R. A. (in press). Shaping the effects of television on adolescents' body image disturbance: The role of parental mediation. Communication Research.Google Scholar
  34. Parks, P. S. M., & Read, M. H. (1997). Adolescent male athletes: Body image, diet, and exercise. Adolescence, 32, 593-603.Google Scholar
  35. Posavac, H. D., Posavac, S. S., & Weigel, R. G. (2001). Reducing the impact of exposure to idealized media images of female attractiveness on women's body image: An investigation of three psychoeducational interventions. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 20, 324-340.Google Scholar
  36. Smolak, L., Levine, M. P., & Thompson, J. K. (2001). The use of the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire with middle school boys and girls. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 29, 216-223.Google Scholar
  37. Spitzer, B. L., Henderson, K. A., & Zivian, M. T. (1999). Gender differences in population versus media body sizes: A comparison over four decades. Sex Roles, 40, 545-565.Google Scholar
  38. Stice, E., Spangler, D., & Agras, W. S. (2001). Exposure to media portrayed thin-ideal images adversely affects vulnerable girls: A longitudinal experiment. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 20, 270-288.Google Scholar
  39. Thompson, J. K., Heinberg, L. J., Altabe, M., & Tantleff-Dunn, S. (1999). Exacting beauty (pp. 35-36). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  40. Wiles, C. R., Wiles, J. A., & Tjernlund, A. (1996). The ideology of advertising: The United States and Sweden. Journal of Advertising Research, 36, 57-66.Google Scholar
  41. Wroblewska, A. M. (1997). Androgenic–anabolic steroids and body dysmorphia in young men. Journal of Psychomatic Research, 42, 225-234.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renée A. Botta
    • 1
  1. 1.MU 247Cleveland State UniversityCleveland

Personalised recommendations