Examining an elaborated sociocultural model of disordered eating among college women: The roles of social comparison and body surveillance

Ellen E. Fitzsimmons-Craft, Anna M. Bardone-Cone, Cynthia M. Bulik, Stephen A. Wonderlich, Ross D. Crosby, Scott G. Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Social comparison (i.e., body, eating, exercise) and body surveillance were tested as mediators of the thin-ideal internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship in the context of an elaborated sociocultural model of disordered eating. Participants were 219 college women who completed two questionnaire sessions 3 months apart. The cross-sectional elaborated sociocultural model (i.e., including social comparison and body surveillance as mediators of the thin-ideal internalization-body dissatisfaction relation) provided a good fit to the data, and the total indirect effect from thin-ideal internalization to body dissatisfaction through the mediators was significant. Social comparison emerged as a significant specific mediator while body surveillance did not. The mediation model did not hold prospectively; however, social comparison accounted for unique variance in body dissatisfaction and disordered eating 3 months later. Results suggest that thin-ideal internalization may not be "automatically" associated with body dissatisfaction and that it may be especially important to target comparison in prevention and intervention efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-500
Number of pages13
JournalBody Image
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

Keywords

  • Body dissatisfaction
  • Body surveillance
  • Disordered eating
  • Social comparison
  • Sociocultural model
  • Thin-ideal internalization

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