Agliata_Tantleff-Dunn+2004 - Journal of Social and Clinical...

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AGLIATA AND TANTLEF -DUN THE IMPACT OF MEDIA EXPOSURE THE IMPACT OF MEDIA EXPOSURE ON MALES’ BODY IMAGE DANIEL AGLIATA AND STACEY TANTLEFF-DUNN University of Central Florida Mass media are believed to be a pervasive force in shaping physical appearance ideals and have been shown to negatively impact females’ body image. Little re- search has attended to the effects of media exposure on males’ body image. The current experiment exposed 158 males to television advertisements containing ei- ther ideal male images or neutral images that were inserted between segments of a television program. Participants were blocked on dispositional body image and at- titudes toward appearance variables to assess for moderating effects. Results indi- cated that participants exposed to ideal image advertisements became significantly more depressed and had higher levels of muscle dissatisfaction than those exposed to neutral ads. Inconsistent with past research, no dispositional effects were noted that would suggest the influence of schematicity on mood and body image changes. Body image disturbance, often viewed as a continuum of satisfaction and dissatisfaction with one’s physical appearance (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999), has been linked to low self-esteem, depression, and social anxiety (Cash, 1990; Frederick & Morrison, 1996; Thompson, 1992). Body dissatisfaction has been recog- nized as a precursor to dieting and often precipitates disordered eating (Twamley & Davis, 1999). The vast majority of body image research has focused on females who generally report more disturbance (Rodin, Silberstein, & Striegel-Moore, 1985; Thompson, 1996; Thompson et al., 1999), but attention to males’ body image has slowly been increasing (Pope, Phillips, & Olivardia, 2000). In an early study on male body im- age, 95% of college-age men expressed dissatisfaction with some part of their bodies and 70% experienced a discrepancy between their current Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, Vol. 23, No. 1, 2004, pp. 7-22 7 Address correspondence to Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, Ph.D., University of Central Florida, Department of Psychology, P.O. Box 161390, Orlando, FL 32816-1390; E-mail: [email protected]
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and ideal body shapes (Mishkind, Rodin, Silberstein, & Striegel-Moore, 1986). In the most recent national survey, Cash (1997) found that body dissatisfaction had increased for both genders from earlier reports (Berscheid, Walster, & Bohrnstedt 1973; Cash, Winstead, & Janda, 1986), nearly threefold (15% to 43%) in males. Cash (2002) has questioned the validity of concluding from magazine surveys that body dissatisfaction is on the rise, but it is possible that males are becoming increasingly aware of body image ideals. Increased efforts to more accurately assess and effectively address males’ body image concerns are warranted. From Playgirl and Chippendales, debuting in the 1970s, to muscle movies such as Rambo in the ‘80s, to the male cosmetic surgeries of the ‘90s,theemphasisonappearancethathaslongplaguedwomenhasbeen increasingly directed at men. Playgirl centerfolds have become increas-
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Agliata_Tantleff-Dunn+2004 - Journal of Social and Clinical...

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