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ProfilesWeek7 - Week 7 Physical Appearance Body Image...

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Week 7: February 17, 2011 Physical Appearance & Body Image – Effects on Women 23. Bell, B. T., Lawton, R., & Dittmar, H. (2007). The impact of thin models in music videos on adolescent girls’ body dissatisfaction. This study examined the impact of thin models in music videos on the body dissatisfaction of 16-19 year old girls. The 87 participants completed measures of positive and negative affect as well as body image and self-esteem. The hypotheses were: exposure to music video songs is likely to have an impact on adolescents’ mood and depiction of thin models should lower the mood; music videos with thin models, but not the songs, are predicted to increase body dissatisfaction; self-esteem may moderate the proposed negative effect of music videos on girls’ body dissatisfaction, such that girls with low self-esteem could be more strongly affected than girls with high self-esteem While being told it was a memory experiment, the participants listened three music videos, listened to three songs from the music videos without images, or learned a list of 20 words. The main experimental condition, the three music videos, featured adolescent, thin, and glamorous models that were members of all-girl bands. Participants were asked about visual aspects of the music videos. Girls who watched the music videos reported higher scores on an adaptation of the Body Image States Scale in comparison to the music listening and word learning situations. This indicated that these girls had increased body dissatisfaction. Songs and lyrics in the music videos affect girls’ mood—lowering positive mood when compared to a neutral task, but visual exposure to thin models had no additional or different impact on mood. Body dissatisfaction showed a significantly greater increase from pre- to post-exposure. The third hypothesis was not supported—the level of overall self-esteem does not moderate this pattern of results. When reading about the background, I agreed that it would be hard to distinguish whether the music itself or the depiction of thin models had an influence on the affect of young girls. I like that the researchers took note of this important distinction. The sample size seems too small to generalize the results to the entire adolescent girl population. Additionally, they were predominantly Caucasian, thus limiting the external validity. If the study contained a more diverse group of girls, would the effects have been different based on their beliefs of the ideal body? The thin models may not have the same time of impact on females of different ethnicities.
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