تاثیر مقایسه اجتماعی ظاهر بر اختلال تصویر بدن در محیط طبیعی: نقش باورهای فمینیستی و درونی سازی لاغری ایده آل
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|37006||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9000 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Body Image, Volume 9, Issue 3, June 2012, Pages 342–351
Abstract Drawing on Festinger's (1954) social comparison theory and its modern applications, this research investigated the relationship between upward appearance-focused social comparisons and body image disturbance using ecological momentary assessment, which allows for examination of these phenomena in their natural context. Participants were 91 undergraduate women who answered questionnaires five times per day for five days using Palm Personal Data Assistant (PDA) devices. Analyses were conducted using hierarchical linear modeling, which allows for examination of longitudinal data both within and across participants. Results revealed a positive relationship between upward appearance-focused social comparisons and body image disturbance. Upward appearance-focused social comparisons were associated with greater body image disturbance for those with higher levels of thin-ideal internalization and with greater body checking for women with lower levels of feminist beliefs. These findings further illuminate the nature of the relationship between social comparisons and body image disturbance.
Introduction Body image disturbance is a multidimensional issue encompassing maladaptive cognitions, affect, and behaviors related to one's body (Cash & Deagle, 1997). Body dissatisfaction, a component of body image disturbance, consists of dysfunctional, negative beliefs and feelings about one's weight and shape (Crowther & Williams, 2011). Body checking, a behavioral component of body image disturbance, consists of repetitively engaging in behaviors that ritualistically evaluate the weight, size and/or appearance of areas of one's body (Reas, Whisenhunt, Netemeyer, & Williamson, 2002). Largely due to Western cultures’ focus on an unattainable thin ideal, dissatisfaction with weight and shape is a widespread problem (Heinberg, 1996 and Tiggemann and Lynch, 2001), as is engaging in maladaptive behaviors related to this dissatisfaction with one's body (Shafran, Fairburn, Robinson, & Lask, 2004). A discrepancy between the ideal body type and the way women perceive and experience their own bodies is so common that it may be a “normal part of the female experience” within Western culture (Silberstein, Striegel-Moore, & Rodin, 1987, p. 89), a phenomenon which has been referred to as “normative discontent.” In fact, over 80% of women in college settings reported body dissatisfaction (Spitzer, Henderson, & Zivian, 1999). These high prevalence rates are problematic because body dissatisfaction is associated with several negative psychological consequences, including depression (Stice, Hayward, Cameron, Killen, & Taylor, 2000), social anxiety (Cash & Labarge, 1996), sexual dysfunction (Wiederman, 2011), and reported suicide attempts (Rodriguez-Cano, Beato-Fernandez, & Llario, 2006). Additionally, body dissatisfaction is a risk factor for dieting and eating pathology as well as a maintenance factor for bulimic pathology (Stice, 2002); body checking has also been associated with eating psychopathology (Shafran et al., 2004). Social Comparison and Body Image Disturbance Social comparison theory (Festinger, 1954) provides a foundation for understanding women's body image disturbance. This theory proposes that people have a drive to determine their progress and standing in life, and they often do so by searching out standards to which they can compare themselves. This theory differentiates two types of social comparisons: upward and downward comparisons. Upward social comparisons occur when individuals compare themselves to perceived superior targets, and downward social comparisons occur when individuals compare themselves to perceived inferior targets. Festinger (1954) proposed that upward comparisons were likely to produce negative consequences, such as decreased self-esteem, whereas downward comparisons were likely to produce positive consequences, such as increased self-esteem. Additionally, Festinger's theory posits that people are most likely to make favorable (rather than unfavorable) comparisons to similar others; however, individuals may seek upward comparisons with slightly superior others to gain information on how to improve themselves as long as the comparisons are not harmful (Festinger, 1954 and Schutz et al., 2002). However, research has shown that when women make upward appearance-focused social comparisons to evaluate their appearance, the effects seem to diverge from Festinger's (1954) original theory. First, although social comparison theory argues that individuals are most likely to compare themselves to similar others, women compare themselves to unrealistic, thin images of women portrayed in the media just as frequently as they compare themselves to similar peers (Strahan, Wilson, Cressman, & Buote, 2006). Second, although social comparison theory argues that people will not continue to make comparisons if they are unfavorable and/or damaging to one's self-image, women frequently make appearance-related social comparisons (Leahey, Crowther, & Mickelson, 2007), even when they experience detrimental consequences (Strahan et al., 2006). One of the primary consequences of appearance-based social comparisons is body image disturbance (Groesz et al., 2002 and Myers and Crowther, 2009). Generally, the literature in this area has been characterized by experimental studies, in which women are exposed to thin ideal images in the laboratory setting that are assumed to induce appearance-focused comparisons, and correlational studies, in which women complete paper-and-pencil questionnaires that measure their tendencies to make appearance-focused comparisons. A recent meta-analysis of 156 studies found a consistently strong, positive relationship between social comparison and body dissatisfaction, regardless of whether the study was experimental or correlational (Myers & Crowther, 2009). While this research is valuable, laboratory studies lack ecological validity; because the nature of the comparison is experimentally manipulated, it is difficult to generalize the results to comparisons that occur in the naturalistic environment. Although much of the research done on consequences from thin-ideal media has used media taken from mainstream sources (e.g., Groesz et al., 2002), which are comparable to the images that women view in their natural environment, individuals may view and interact with these images differently when they are presented in the more artificial laboratory setting than in the naturalistic environment (i.e., as slides projected for a specific time rather than in magazines or on a computer screen perused either casually or systematically). Furthermore, correlational methodologies rely heavily on retrospective report, and as a result are subject to recall errors and biases. Recently, ecological momentary assessment (EMA) has been implemented to study the relationships among appearance-focused social comparisons and body image disturbance. EMA samples experiences at the moment they occur in the naturalistic setting and thus maximizes the generalizeability of the findings while avoiding the difficulties associated with retrospective recall (Stone & Shiffman, 1994). More recently, a series of studies have used EMA methodology to examine appearance-focused social comparisons in the naturalistic environment (Leahey et al., 2007, Leahey and Crowther, 2008, Leahey et al., 2011 and Ridolfi et al., 2011). Results showed that upward appearance-focused comparisons were associated with greater body dissatisfaction, negative affect, guilt (Leahey et al., 2007, Leahey et al., 2011 and Ridolfi et al., 2011), body checking (Ridolfi et al., 2011), and thoughts of dieting and exercising (Leahey et al., 2007 and Leahey et al., 2011). Research also has begun to examine these relationships in greater detail, showing that type of comparison target (e.g., media versus peer) and appearance-focused cognitive distortions moderate the relationship between upward appearance-focused social comparisons and body dissatisfaction (Leahey & Crowther, 2008) and body checking (Ridolfi et al., 2011). These studies suggest a strong relationship between appearance-focused social comparisons and body dissatisfaction in the naturalistic setting; however, these studies also highlight the importance of examining other potential moderators of this relationship and considering further the impact of these factors on body checking, the behavioral component of body image disturbance. Two Potential Moderators: Thin-Ideal Internalization and Feminist Beliefs Thin-ideal internalization occurs when women assimilate the thin ideal and its associated values (i.e., women must be thin to be considered attractive) into their own world view such that these ideas become guiding principles in their lives (Thompson, van den Berg, Roehrig, Guarda, & Heinberg, 2004). Thin-ideal internalization is problematic because the thin ideal promulgated by the media is often unattainable for most women (Heinberg, 1996 and Tiggemann and Lynch, 2001). As a result, thin-ideal internalization is a risk factor for body dissatisfaction (Cafri et al., 2005, Stice, 2002, Stice et al., 1998 and Thompson and Stice, 2001) and may strengthen the relationship between upward appearance-focused comparisons and body image disturbance. Appearance-focused social comparisons may be the primary basis for the negative consequences of exposure to the thin ideal by acting as the mechanism whereby individuals are exposed to and begin to assimilate the thin ideal (Bessenoff, 2006, Halliwell and Harvey, 2006, Jones, 2004 and Thompson et al., 1999). Research suggests that within the context of etiological models, thin-ideal internalization serves as a mediator between sociocultural pressures to conform to this ideal and body dissatisfaction (Myers and Crowther, 2007, Stice, 1994, Stice, 2002 and Thompson and Stice, 2001). In the context of women's day-to-day experiences, thin-ideal internalization is likely a trait variable that changes the nature of the relationship between making an upward appearance-focused comparison and experiencing body image disturbance in the naturalistic environment. The impact of naturalistic social comparisons on body image disturbance is likely greater for those who have internalized the thin ideal because acceptance of unrealistic standards for thinness will increase the likelihood that an appearance-focused comparison is deemed unfavorable. Feminist beliefs also may moderate the relationship between upward appearance-focused comparisons and body image disturbance. Feminist theory is rooted in the assertion that women should be seen as equals to men and respected for their accomplishments (e.g., NOW, 1966). Additionally, feminist theory provides a unique perspective on the development and maintenance of body image disturbances among women (Heinberg, 1996). Smolak and Murnen (2004) argue that body image disturbance is a “gendered” problem caused by issues of power and self-objectification. Objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1997), a common feminist explanation for gender differences in body dissatisfaction, argues that society views women as objects and thus focuses on their bodies rather than their abilities. Women who internalize these messages may be vulnerable to body image disturbance. Feminist beliefs may serve as a protective factor against body image disturbance for women (Ojerholm and Rothblum, 1999, Piran, 1999, Rubin et al., 2004 and Tiggemann and Stevens, 1999). Although all women are exposed to the thin ideal through the media, holding higher levels of feminist beliefs may serve as a buffer (Myers & Crowther, 2007), giving women a different lens through which to interpret sociocultural messages about women's bodies (Rubin et al., 2004). However, the relationship is complex. Even though feminist women reject traditional gender roles and sociocultural messages about appearance, they still report weight and shape concerns (Rothblum, 1994 and Rubin et al., 2004). Indeed, in a meta-analytic study examining the relationship between feminist beliefs and body attitudes, Murnen and Smolak (2009) found that feminist identity helps to protect against extreme body dissatisfaction, although they also found significant variability in the effect sizes across studies. Given these complex relationships, it is unclear whether women who hold feminist beliefs would engage in fewer appearance-focused comparisons than women who do not hold such beliefs, or whether feminist beliefs would attenuate the relationship between upward appearance-focused comparisons and body image disturbance. Although not investigating appearance-focused comparisons, DasGupta and Liang (1988) found that those women who scored lower on a measure of feminism were more distressed when told that their scores on the same measure compared unfavorably to the norm than those who scored higher on the feminism measure. These authors argued that women who were more feminist were more confident in their identities and thus less affected by an unfavorable social comparison. Therefore, feminist beliefs may be an important moderating variable to consider when examining the relationship between appearance-focused social comparisons and body image disturbance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Results Diary Reactivity Mean self-reported reactivity was 3.15 (SD = .84). On this four-point Likert scale asking how much carrying the PDA affected them, 2.2% (n = 2) of participants said “not at all,” 22.0% (n = 20) said “somewhat,” 34.1% (n = 31) said “moderately,” and 41.8% (n = 38) said “definitely.” To further examine reactivity to study participation, an HLM model was run examining day of the study as a Level 1 predictor of body dissatisfaction. The results were significant (β1j = −.06, SE = .02, t(90) = −2.74, p < .01), indicating that body dissatisfaction decreased over the course of participation in the study. Therefore, all results were examined utilizing both HLM-2 and HLM-3 analyses. These HLM-3 models were run with the Level-1 equations representing the within-subject relationship between the independent variable of appearance-focused social comparisons and the dependent variables, the Level-2 equations representing day, and the Level-3 equations representing the moderator. For several reasons, we chose to focus on the 2-level HLMs: (1) the 3-level HLMs yielded identical findings; and (2) we had no specific hypotheses related to day. Major Analyses A total of 1536 diary entries were completed by participants, with 400 of those documenting social comparisons. Participants completed between 6 and 26 diary entries, with the mean number being 16.79 (SD = 4.05). From these diary completions, the number of social comparisons made for each participant across the five days ranged from 0 to 20 (M = 4.86, SD = 4.09), and the number of upward social comparisons made ranged from 0 to 11 (M = .82, SD = 1.52). To examine Hypotheses 1, that women who have higher levels of thin-ideal internalization would make upward appearance-focused social comparisons more frequently than those with lower levels of thin-ideal internalization, and Hypothesis 2, that women would make upward appearance-focused social comparisons with the same frequency regardless of levels of feminist beliefs, the total number of social comparisons made by each participant during the diary phase of the study was summed for these analyses, as were the total number of upward social comparisons made. Bivariate correlations examined the relationship between thin-ideal internalization, feminist beliefs, and frequency of social comparison. In order to account for individual differences in compliance to diary completion, the sums of the number of comparisons made and the number of upward comparisons made by each participant were prorated based on the proportions of times they completed diary questionnaires. Thin-ideal internalization was significantly correlated with total number of comparisons (r = .27, p < .01), but not with the number of upward comparisons (r = .11, p > .10). Feminist beliefs were not significantly correlated with total number of social comparisons made (r = −.01, p > .10) or with the number of upward comparisons made (r = .04, p > .10).