The impact of a media literacy intervention on the effects of exposure to conventional and novel thin-ideal media : immediate effects and two-week follow-up
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Two studies examined the effects of exposure to conventional and novel thin-ideal media and the efficacy of a media literacy intervention to reduce immediate negative effects of exposure. Moderators were also examined, along with the efficacy of the media literacy intervention to reduce risk-factors for eating disorders at a two-week follow-up. In Study 1, 263 female undergraduates completed questionnaires, viewed a media literacy intervention or a control video, viewed 20 images of thin female models from pro-anorexia websites or fashion magazines, or a control condition, answered a final set of questionnaires, and completed a survey two-weeks later. Study 2 included 212 female undergraduates and differed from Study 1 in that participants viewed a pro-anorexia website or a control website, and no follow-up was conducted. Collectively, participants exposed to thin-ideal media experienced a range of deleterious effects on mood, body image, cognitions, and behavioral expectations. There was limited support for the efficacy of the media literacy intervention on immediate outcomes, although in Study 2, the intervention positively impacted some aspects of body image. There was no support for the intervention to reduce risk-factors for eating disorders at the follow-up. Moderators played an important role in Study 2, though not so much in Study 1. Findings are discussed in light of the need to develop effective interventions and to continue to explore the impact of novel forms of thin-ideal media.
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