The role of the media in body image concerns among women: a meta-analysis of experimental and correlational studies

Psychol Bull. 2008 May;134(3):460-76. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.3.460.


Research suggests that exposure to mass media depicting the thin-ideal body may be linked to body image disturbance in women. This meta-analysis examined experimental and correlational studies testing the links between media exposure to women's body dissatisfaction, internalization of the thin ideal, and eating behaviors and beliefs with a sample of 77 studies that yielded 141 effect sizes. The mean effect sizes were small to moderate (ds = -.28, -.39, and -.30, respectively). Effects for some outcome variables were moderated by publication year and study design. The findings support the notion that exposure to media images depicting the thin-ideal body is related to body image concerns for women.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Culture
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Media*
  • Self Concept
  • Social Behavior*