Purpose: To examine the relationship between use of electronic media and perceived importance of appearance and weight concerns among adolescent girls.
Methods: Physical measures and self-report surveys were obtained from 837 ninth-grade girls attending pubs lic high schools in San Jose, California (mean age = 14.9 +/- 0.47 years; 36% Latino, 24% White, 22% Asian, 8% Black, 10% other). Correlational and multiple regression analyses were performed with ethnicity, body mass index (BMI), perceived importance of appearance, weight concerns, and media use (based on self-reported average weekly use of television, videotapes, video and computer games, and music videos).
Results: Total media use was not significantly related to perceived importance of appearance or weight concerns. When media use was separated into distinct media genres, only hours of watching music videos was related to perceived importance of appearance and weight concerns (r = 0.12, p < .001, and r = .08, p < .05, respectively). In multivariate analyses, after controlling for BMI and ethnicity, no media use variables were significantly associated with either perceived importance of appearance or weight concerns.
Conclusions: Frequent music video use may be a risk factor for increased perceived importance of appearance and increased weight concerns among adolescent girls.