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A pilot study investigating whether focusing on body functionality can protect women from the potential negative effects of viewing thin-ideal media images

Published on Jun 1, 2016in Body Image 3.12
· DOI :10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.01.007
Jessica M. Alleva9
Estimated H-index: 9
,
J.R. Veldhuis9
Estimated H-index: 9
(VU: VU University Amsterdam),
Carolien Martijn19
Estimated H-index: 19
Cite
Abstract
This pilot study explored whether focusing on body functionality (i.e., everything the body can do) can protect women from potential harmful effects of exposure to thin-ideal images. Seventy women (Mage=20.61) completed an assignment wherein they either described the functionality of their body or the routes that they often travel (control). Afterward, participants were exposed to a series of thin-ideal images. Appearance and functionality satisfaction were measured before the assignment; appearance and functionality satisfaction, self-objectification, and body appreciation were measured after exposure. Results showed that participants who focused on body functionality experienced greater functionality satisfaction and body appreciation compared to control participants. Therefore, focusing on body functionality could be a beneficial individual-level technique that women can use to protect and promote a positive body image in the face of thin-ideal images. Research including a condition wherein participants are exposed to (product-only) control images is necessary to draw firmer conclusions.
  • References (24)
  • Citations (18)
Cite
References24
Newest
Published on Sep 1, 2015in Body Image 3.12
Rachel Andrew8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Flinders University),
Marika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University),
Levina Clark10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Flinders University)
Abstract This study aimed to examine the protective role of positive body image against negative effects produced by viewing thin-idealised media. University women ( N = 68) completed trait measures of body appreciation and media protective strategies. At a subsequent session, participants viewed 11 thin-ideal advertisements. Body dissatisfaction was assessed before and after advertisement exposure, and state measures of self-objectification, appearance comparison, and media protective strategie...
Published on Sep 1, 2015in Body Image 3.12
Jessica M. Alleva9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UM: Maastricht University),
Carolien Martijn19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UM: Maastricht University)
+ 2 AuthorsKai Karos6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
Abstract This study tested Expand Your Horizon , a programme designed to improve body image by training women to focus on the functionality of their body using structured writing assignments. Eighty-one women ( M age = 22.77) with a negative body image were randomised to the Expand Your Horizon programme or to an active control programme. Appearance satisfaction, functionality satisfaction, body appreciation, and self-objectification were measured at pretest, posttest, and one-week follow-up. Fo...
Published on Jan 1, 2015in Body Image 3.12
Tracy L. Tylka36
Estimated H-index: 36
(OSU: Ohio State University),
Nichole L. Wood-Barcalow5
Estimated H-index: 5
Abstract Considered a positive body image measure, the 13-item Body Appreciation Scale (BAS; Avalos, Tylka, & Wood-Barcalow, 2005 ) assesses individuals’ acceptance of, favorable opinions toward, and respect for their bodies. While the BAS has accrued psychometric support, we improved it by rewording certain BAS items (to eliminate sex-specific versions and body dissatisfaction-based language) and developing additional items based on positive body image research. In three studies, we examined th...
Published on Apr 3, 2014in Media Psychology 2.74
J.R. Veldhuis9
Estimated H-index: 9
(VU: VU University Amsterdam),
E.A. Konijn21
Estimated H-index: 21
(VU: VU University Amsterdam),
J.C. Seidell83
Estimated H-index: 83
(VU: VU University Amsterdam)
The present study investigated whether information or warnings about depictions of the thin-body ideal in mass media are effective in counteracting media-induced negative body perceptions of adolescent girls. Based on counter-advertising and reactance theories, our hypotheses were tested in a 3 (weight labels: information vs. warning vs. no label) × 2 (media models' body shape: thin vs. normal weight) × 2 (self-esteem: lower vs. higher) design (N = 178). Body dissatisfaction, objectified body co...
Published on Sep 1, 2013in Body Image 3.12
Emma Halliwell25
Estimated H-index: 25
(University of the West of England)
Abstract This article examines whether positive body image can protect women from negative media exposure effects. University women ( N = 112) were randomly allocated to view advertisements featuring ultra-thin models or control images. Women who reported high levels of body appreciation did not report negative media exposure effects. Furthermore, the protective role of body appreciation was also evident among women known to be vulnerable to media exposure. Women high on thin-ideal internalizati...
Published on Jan 1, 2013in Health Psychology 3.53
Brendan Gough25
Estimated H-index: 25
Objective: Mortality and morbidity statistics show that men on average die younger than women and are more prone to many nongendered illnesses. Social constructions of masculinity have been implicated in men's poorer health, although it is now recognized that masculinity is a complex, multifaceted entity, elements of which can prove health-promoting. Methods: This special issue, "Men's health: Masculinity and other influences on male health behaviors," brings together a range of psychological re...
Published on Jan 1, 2013in Health Psychology 3.53
Carolien Martijn19
Estimated H-index: 19
,
Paschal Sheeran68
Estimated H-index: 68
(University of Sheffield)
+ 4 AuthorsAnita Jansen52
Estimated H-index: 52
Objective: The present research tested whether an evaluative conditioning intervention makes thin-ideal models less enviable as standards for appearance-based social comparisons (Study 1), and increases body satisfaction (Study 2). Design: Female participants were randomly assigned to intervention versus control conditions in both studies (ns 66 and 39). Intervention participants learned to associate thin-ideal models with synonyms of fake whereas control participants completed an equivalent tas...
Published on Jan 1, 2013in Body Image 3.12
Marika Tiggemann74
Estimated H-index: 74
(Flinders University),
Amy Slater21
Estimated H-index: 21
(Flinders University)
+ 2 AuthorsBonny Firth2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Flinders University)
Abstract Recent proposals across a number of Western countries have suggested that idealised media images should carry some sort of disclaimer informing readers when these images have been digitally enhanced. The present studies aimed to experimentally investigate the impact on women's body dissatisfaction of the addition of such warning labels to fashion magazine advertisements. Participants were 120 and 114 female undergraduate students in Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 respectively. In both ex...
Published on Oct 1, 2011in Psychology & Health 2.40
Phillippa C. Diedrichs15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of the West of England),
Christina Lee38
Estimated H-index: 38
(UQ: University of Queensland)
Despite consensus that exposure to media images of thin fashion models is associated with poor body image and disordered eating behaviours, few attempts have been made to enact change in the media. This study sought to investigate an effective alternative to current media imagery, by exploring the advertising effectiveness of average-size female fashion models, and their impact on the body image of both women and men. A sample of 171 women and 120 men were assigned to one of three advertisement ...
Published on Mar 9, 2011in Media Psychology 2.74
Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick26
Estimated H-index: 26
(OSU: Ohio State University),
Joshua Paul Romero1
Estimated H-index: 1
(OSU: Ohio State University)
Social comparison research suggests that people seek upward comparisons if the achievement seems attainable, but avoid them if it appears unattainable. This experiment (N = 169) manipulated attainability by presenting body-improvement articles about dieting/exercising (experimental group) or body-unrelated articles (control group). Social comparison choices were recorded through selective advertisement exposure, as participants browsed a computerized magazine with both “ideal body” ads and “regu...
Cited By18
Newest
Published on Sep 1, 2019in Body Image 3.12
Erin Vinoski Thomas1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte),
Jan Warren-Findlow12
Estimated H-index: 12
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
+ 3 AuthorsCharlie L. Reeve20
Estimated H-index: 20
(UNCC: University of North Carolina at Charlotte)
Abstract A current hypothesis is that women who learn to focus on their body's functionality versus appearance may experience improved body image outcomes. This research is underdeveloped in considering the perspectives of women with visible physical disabilities (WPD), who have differences in body functionality and appearance that influence their body image. Our study aimed to understand how WPD conceptualize body image and body functionality and to clarify relationships between these construct...
Published on Jun 28, 2019in Social Work in Public Health 0.65
Virginia Ramseyer Winter5
Estimated H-index: 5
(MU: University of Missouri),
Michelle Teti15
Estimated H-index: 15
(MU: University of Missouri)
+ 1 AuthorsKristen Morris2
Estimated H-index: 2
(MU: University of Missouri)
Published on Jun 1, 2019in Body Image 3.12
Anne E. Cox12
Estimated H-index: 12
(WSU: Washington State University),
Sarah Ullrich-French13
Estimated H-index: 13
(WSU: Washington State University)
+ 1 AuthorsAmanda K. McMahon (WSU: Washington State University)
Abstract Engaging in physical activity for the immediate internal experiences it brings (e.g., pleasure, satisfaction) is critical for long-term exercise adherence. Investigations of how factors such as body image contribute to intrinsic motivation for physical activity are needed. The present study examined body surveillance and body appreciation as mediators of the relationship between self-compassion and intrinsic motivation for physical activity cross-sectionally and prospectively. One sampl...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Body Image 3.12
Zachary A. Soulliard (SLU: Saint Louis University), Alicia A. Kauffman (SLU: Saint Louis University)+ 2 AuthorsMichael J. Ross11
Estimated H-index: 11
(SLU: Saint Louis University)
Abstract The primary purpose of the present study was to examine differences in positive body image, specifically body appreciation and functionality appreciation, between student athletes and non-athletes. A secondary purpose was to examine the relationships between positive body image and other sport-related variables. Seventy-nine National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I student athletes ( M age = 19.79, SD = 1.13) and 175 non-athletes ( M age = 19.38, SD = 1.81) completed m...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Body Image 3.12
Robyn Moffitt8
Estimated H-index: 8
(Griffith University),
David Lester Neumann26
Estimated H-index: 26
(Griffith University),
Shannon P. Williamson1
Estimated H-index: 1
(ACU: Australian Catholic University)
Abstract This study explored the efficacy of reflective writing tasks for reducing state body dissatisfaction and improving self-improvement motivation. Participants ( N = 153) were exposed to a threatening body image scenario, after which they reported their state body dissatisfaction. Following randomisation to one of three interventions (self-esteem, self-compassion, or positive distraction control), participants completed the state body dissatisfaction measures again along with a measure of ...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology
Renee Engeln4
Estimated H-index: 4
(NU: Northwestern University),
Margaret Shavlik (NU: Northwestern University), Colleen Daly (NU: Northwestern University)
Two-hundred and three college women participated in a 16-minute strength and conditioning group fitness class. Participants were randomly assigned to a class that featured either appearance-focused motivational comments by the instructor (e.g., “Blast that cellulite!”) or function-focused comments (e.g., “Think of how strong you are getting!”). Body satisfaction from pre-test to post-test increased overall, but those in the function-focused (as opposed to appearance-focused) condition experience...
Published on Dec 1, 2018in Body Image 3.12
Petal Grower1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UM: University of Michigan),
L. Monique Ward19
Estimated H-index: 19
(UM: University of Michigan)
Abstract Although numerous studies demonstrate links between negative body image and sexual well-being, recent research has emphasized studying the positive aspects of these constructs. The current study built upon this prior research by examining the association between body appreciation and sexual agency among a US community sample of 355 heterosexual women aged 18–40. This study also examined whether body appreciation is uniquely associated with sexual agency above and beyond levels of self-o...
Published on Jul 3, 2018in Health Communication 1.85
Toni Liechty10
Estimated H-index: 10
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign),
Sarah M. Coyne28
Estimated H-index: 28
(BYU: Brigham Young University)
+ 1 AuthorsAubrey D. Sharp1
Estimated H-index: 1
(BYU: Brigham Young University)
ABSTRACTAlthough research has documented a connection between media and body image for women, little research has explored this connection among pregnant or postpartum women. The purpose of this study was to explore women’s perceptions of media and body image during the perinatal period. Fredrickson’s objectification theory provided a theoretical framework for the study. Data collection involved semi-structured in-depth interviews with 50 pregnant or postpartum women in which they were asked to ...
Published on Jun 1, 2018in Body Image 3.12
Jamie Dunaev5
Estimated H-index: 5
(RU: Rutgers University),
Charlotte H. Markey2
Estimated H-index: 2
(RU: Rutgers University),
Paula M. Brochu2
Estimated H-index: 2
(NSU: Nova Southeastern University)
Abstract Internalized weight bias and body dissatisfaction are associated with a number of negative psychological and physical health outcomes. The current study examined the effectiveness of body-focused gratitude, through a short writing exercise, as a strategy to reduce internalized weight bias and improve body image. Young adults ( M age = 22.71, SD = 2.08, 51.2% female) were randomly assigned to either a body gratitude condition ( n = 185) or a control condition ( n = 184). Results indicate...
Published on Jun 1, 2018in Body Image 3.12
Jessica M. Alleva9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UM: Maastricht University),
Phillippa C. Diedrichs15
Estimated H-index: 15
(University of the West of England)
+ 4 AuthorsNichola Rumsey34
Estimated H-index: 34
(University of the West of England)
Abstract Focusing on body functionality is a promising technique for improving women’s body image. This study replicates prior research in a large novel sample, tests longer-term follow-up effects, and investigates underlying mechanisms of these effects ( body complexity and body-self integration ). British women ( N = 261) aged 18–30 who wanted to improve their body image were randomised to Expand Your Horizon (three online body functionality writing exercises) or an active control. Trait body ...