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


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 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2003

Authors and Affiliations

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

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