The relationship between sociocultural pressure to be thin and body dissatisfaction in preadolescent girls
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This study investigates the relationships among sociocultural pressures to be thin, internalisation of the thin ideal, social comparison, body mass index, and body dissatisfaction in young girls. One hundred and fifty-three 10-13 year old girls completed measures assessing sociocultural pressure to be thin, media exposure, body dissatisfaction, social comparison, and internalisation of the thin ideal. Although sociocultural factors, as a group, were significantly associated with internalisation of the thin ideal, perceived media pressure was the only sociocultural influence uniquely related to internalisation of the thin ideal. Perceived pressure to be thin delivered by the media was found to be associated with body dissatisfaction via internalisation of the thin ideal. The relationship between internalisation of the thin ideal and body dissatisfaction was also partially influenced by social comparison. Body mass was found to have a direct association with body dissatisfaction. A model incorporating the relationships among media pressure, internalisation of the thin ideal, social comparison, and body dissatisfaction is proposed.
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