Social comparisons (i.e., body, eating, exercise) and body surveillance were tested as mediators of the thin-ideal internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship using ecological momentary assessment (EMA). Participants were 232 college women who completed a 2-week EMA protocol, responding to questions three times per day. Multilevel path analysis was used to examine a 2-1-1 mediation model (thin-ideal internalization assessed as trait; between-person effects examined) and a 1-1-1 model (component of thin-ideal internalization [thin-ideal importance] assessed momentarily; within- and between-person effects examined). For the 2-1-1 model, only body comparison and body surveillance were significant specific mediators of the between-person effect. For the 1-1-1 model, all four variables were significant specific mediators of the within-person effect. Only body comparison was a significant specific mediator of the between-person effect. At the state level, many processes explain the thin-ideal internalization-body dissatisfaction relationship. However, at the trait level, body comparison and body surveillance are more important explanatory factors.
- Body dissatisfaction
- Body surveillance
- Ecological momentary assessment
- Social comparison
- Thin-ideal internalization