Title of Abstract

Time Spent on Social Media Affecting Body Anxiety and Body Image

Submitting Student(s)

Elizabeth Williams

Session Title

Other Abstracts

Faculty Mentor

Matthew Hayes, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Social media apps and websites are designed to provide the user a platform to not only express themselves, but also a way to communicate with others around the world. With this social interaction between posters and viewers comes the possibility of body anxiety and body image issues. Understanding the effect that social media use has on a young adult’s body anxiety and image is important in discovering connections between media usage and various mental health issues that young adults face. A total of 76 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 completed an online survey. This survey consisted of three sections that focused on physical appearance and anxiety, social media usage, and demographics. Results from this survey have shown that there is not a significant connection between time spent on social media and body image. However, there was a significant correlation between body anxiety and social media’s effect on body image. There was also a significant difference between men and women with women having a higher rate in body anxiety and social media’s effects on body image. Furthermore, a racial difference of African American and White women was found. White women were shown to have significantly more body anxiety and social media effecting body image. Whereas African American women had a significantly higher drive for thinness then White women. Additionally, White women showed to have a significantly higher body dissatisfaction then African American woman. Overall, results from this study have shown how social media can impact one’s mental and physical health regarding their physical appearance.

Course Assignment

PSYC 302 - Hayes

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Time Spent on Social Media Affecting Body Anxiety and Body Image

Social media apps and websites are designed to provide the user a platform to not only express themselves, but also a way to communicate with others around the world. With this social interaction between posters and viewers comes the possibility of body anxiety and body image issues. Understanding the effect that social media use has on a young adult’s body anxiety and image is important in discovering connections between media usage and various mental health issues that young adults face. A total of 76 young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 completed an online survey. This survey consisted of three sections that focused on physical appearance and anxiety, social media usage, and demographics. Results from this survey have shown that there is not a significant connection between time spent on social media and body image. However, there was a significant correlation between body anxiety and social media’s effect on body image. There was also a significant difference between men and women with women having a higher rate in body anxiety and social media’s effects on body image. Furthermore, a racial difference of African American and White women was found. White women were shown to have significantly more body anxiety and social media effecting body image. Whereas African American women had a significantly higher drive for thinness then White women. Additionally, White women showed to have a significantly higher body dissatisfaction then African American woman. Overall, results from this study have shown how social media can impact one’s mental and physical health regarding their physical appearance.