Mediators of the relationship between media literacy and body dissatisfaction in early adolescent girls: Implications for prevention.
- McLean, S. A.
- Paxton, S. J.
- Wertheim, E. H.
This study examined in young adolescent girls the fit of a theoretical model of the contribution of media literacy to body dissatisfaction via the mediating influences of internalisation of media ideals and appearance comparisons. Female Grade 7 students (N = 469) completed self-report assessments of media literacy, internalisation, appearance comparisons, body dissatisfaction, and media exposure. Strong, significant inverse associations between media literacy and body dissatisfaction, internalisation, and appearance comparisons were observed. Path analysis revealed that a slightly modified revision of the model provided a good fit to the data. Specifically, body dissatisfaction was influenced directly by appearance comparisons, internalisation, and body mass index, and indirectly by media literacy and media exposure. Indirect pathways were mediated by appearance comparisons and internalisation. Thus, a relationship between media literacy and eating disorder risk factors was observed. Findings may explain positive outcomes of media literacy interventions in eating disorder prevention.