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The effect of thin-ideals on body satisfaction and body appreciation across different age groups

Owen, Sophie (2014) The effect of thin-ideals on body satisfaction and body appreciation across different age groups. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous research has shown that exposure to thin images has a negative impact on the body image states of women (Grabe, Ward & Hyde, 2008). The present study aimed to investigate if the negative effects associated with exposure to thin-ideals differ according to age. Participants were 80 women, categorised as young (N=40) or older (N=40). Participants were required to complete a questionnaire comprised of a body satisfaction scale and a body appreciation scale before and after viewing thin images or neutral images. Differences between pre and post image scores were calculated. Results show there was a significant main effect for image on scores of both body satisfaction and appreciation (p <.001), indicating that thin images negatively affect the body image state of women irrespective of age. There was also a significant interaction effect between age and image on scores of body appreciation (p <.01). This indicates that there was less of a negative impact on the body appreciation scores of older women compared to the young women following exposure to thin-ideals, suggesting that body appreciation increases with age and body appreciation remains in older women even after exposure to thin-ideals.

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