NetGirls: the Internet, Facebook, and body image concern in adolescent girls

Int J Eat Disord. 2013 Sep;46(6):630-3. doi: 10.1002/eat.22141. Epub 2013 May 25.


Objective: The primary aim of the study was to examine the relationship between Internet exposure and body image concern in adolescent girls, with a particular focus on the social networking site of Facebook.

Method: A sample of 1,087 girls in the first two years (Years 8 and 9) of high school (aged 13-15 years) completed questionnaire measures of Internet consumption and body image concerns.

Results: The overwhelming majority of girls (95.9%) had access to the Internet in their home. Time spent on the Internet was significantly related to internalization of the thin ideal, body surveillance, and drive for thinness. Further, 75% of the girls had a Facebook profile, and spent an average of 1.5 hours there daily. Facebook users scored significantly more highly on all body image concern measures than non-users.

Discussion: It was concluded that the Internet represents a potent socio-cultural medium of relevance to the body image of adolescent girls.

Keywords: Facebook; Internet; adolescents; body image; drive for thinness; media exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Body Image*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data
  • Mass Media
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Thinness