Journal article

Instagram use and body dissatisfaction : the mediating role of upward social comparison with peers and influencers among young females

  • Pedalino, Federica Facoltà di comunicazione, cultura e società, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera
  • Camerini, Anne-Linda ORCID Facoltà di comunicazione, cultura e società, Università della Svizzera italiana, Svizzera ; Institute of Public Health (IPH), Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland
  • 2022
Published in:
  • International journal of environmental research and public health. - 2022, vol. 19, p. 1543
English Background: Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms among young females. Idealized body images shared on the platform have been associated with lower levels of body satisfaction in this population, likely due to social comparison processes. In the present study, we tested a mediation model linking Instagram use (i.e., browsing through others’ profiles, commenting on others’ looks, posting one’s own photos or stories) to body dissatisfaction (i.e., body image discrepancy and lack of body appreciation), mediated by upward social comparison with close peers, distant peers, and social media influencers. Methods: We applied structural equation modeling to self-report cross-sectional data collected from 291 female adolescents and young women (Mage= 19.8,SD = 4.6; 94.8% Italian). Results: Our final model results show that browsing on Instagram was associated with lower levels of body appreciation, fully mediated by upward social comparison with social media influencers, not close or distant peers. Commenting on others’ looks and posting own content were not associated with body dissatisfaction. Being an adolescent female (compared to a young woman) and having a higher BMI were associated with worse body appreciation. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the need for public health interventions to raise awareness about the posting practices of social media influencers and to strengthen a positive body image among young females susceptible to social comparison processes.
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Language
  • English
Classification
Social sciences
License
CC BY
Open access status
gold
Identifiers
Persistent URL
https://n2t.net/ark:/12658/srd1325670
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