Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Suzanne Mazzeo


Research has identified a relation between exposure to thin-ideal magazine and television media images and eating disorder pathology. However, few studies have examined the potential influence of Internet media on eating disorder behaviors and attitudes. This study investigated the associations among appearance-orientated media exposure, body dissatisfaction, eating pathology and thin-ideal internalization in a sample of 421 female undergraduate students. Results indicate that undergraduate women spend significantly more time viewing appearance-oriented sources online, rather than reading appearance-orientated magazines. Appearance-oriented Internet consumption was also more strongly associated with eating disorder pathology than was use of other media (television and magazines). Relations between appearance-orientated media use (all types) and body dissatisfaction was mediated by thin-ideal internalization. These findings are consistent with those of previous research, and highlight the vulnerability individuals high in thin-ideal internalization might have following media exposure. They also suggest that Internet media might be an important topic to include in eating disorders prevention and treatment.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2011

Included in

Psychology Commons