Predictors of vulnerability to reduced body image satisfaction and psychological wellbeing in response to exposure to idealized female media images in adolescent girls Academic Article uri icon


  • Predictors of change in body satisfaction, depressed mood, anxiety and anger, were examined following exposure to idealized female advertising images in Grades 7 and 10 girls. Stable body dissatisfaction, physical appearance comparison tendency, internalization of thin ideal, self-esteem, depression, identity confusion and body mass index (BMI) were assessed. One week later, participants viewed magazine images, before and after which they completed assessments of state body satisfaction, state depression, state anxiety and state anger. Participants were randomly allocated to view either images of idealized females (experimental condition) or fashion accessories (control condition). For both grades, there was a significant decrease in state body satisfaction and a significant increase in state depression attributable to viewing the female images. In Grade 7 girls in the experimental condition, decrease in state body satisfaction was predicted by stable body dissatisfaction and BMI, while significant predictors of decreases in the measures of negative affect included internalization of the thin-ideal and appearance comparison. In Grade 10 girls, reduction in state body satisfaction and increase in state depression was predicted by internalization of the thin-ideal, appearance comparison and stable body dissatisfaction. These findings indicate the importance of individual differences in short-term reaction to viewing idealized media images.

publication date

  • November 2002