Negotiated media effects. Peer feedback modifies effects of media's thin-body ideal on adolescent girls

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The present study introduces a theoretical framework on negotiated media effects. Specifically, we argue that feedback of peers on thin-body ideal media images and individual dispositions guide effects on adolescent girls' psychosocial responses to media exposure. Therefore, we examined the thin-body ideal as portrayed in media and peers' feedback on such thin-ideal images in their combined effects on adolescent girls' body dissatisfaction, objectified body consciousness, and social comparison with media models. Hence, media models and peer comments were systematically combined as incorporated entities in YouTube-formats. Hypotheses were tested in a 3 (media models: extremely thin vs. thin vs. normal weight)×3 (peer comments: 6kg-underweight vs. 3kg-underweight vs. normal-weight)×2 (appearance schematicity: lower vs. higher) between-subjects design (N=216). Results showed that peer comments indicating that a media model was 'only 3kg-underweight' exerted most negative responses, particularly in girls who strongly process appearance relevant information. Peer feedback interacts with media models in guiding perceptions of what is considered an 'ideal' body shape. Results highlight the important role of peers as well as individual predispositions in view of understanding how thin-ideal media images may impact adolescent girls' body image concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-82
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014


  • Adolescent
  • Body Image
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Media
  • Peer Group
  • Reference Values
  • Self Concept
  • Thinness
  • Journal Article


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