The relationship between Facebook and Instagram appearance-focused activities and body image concerns in young women

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Body Image, 2017, 23 pp. 183 - 187
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© 2017 The present study aimed to identify the specific social networking sites (SNS) features that relate to body image concerns in young women. A total of 259 women aged 18–29 years completed questionnaire measures of SNS use (Facebook and Instagram) and body image concerns. It was found that appearance-focused SNS use, rather than overall SNS use, was related to body image concerns in young women. Specifically, greater engagement in photo activities on Facebook, but not general Facebook use, was associated with greater thin-ideal internalisation and body surveillance. Similarly, following appearance-focused accounts on Instagram was associated with thin-ideal internalisation, body surveillance, and drive for thinness, whereas following appearance-neutral accounts was not associated with any body image outcomes. Implications for future SNS research, as well as for body image and disordered eating interventions for young women, are discussed.
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