The effects of media on body image and self esteem

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Gorman, Sinead
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BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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This study investigates the influence of the mass media on self esteem and body image in both males and females, aged between 18 and 25. The media has been found to be the most powerful conveyor of socio-cultural values regarding body ideals, size and weight, which has been linked to body dissatisfaction and in turn, related to other health concerns such as depression, low self esteem and eating disorders. There were a total of 150 participants who took part in this study; 89 females and 61 males. A quantitative non-experimental correlational design was used. Participants completed a questionnaire booklet containing three different questionnaires including The Self Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965), a body image questionnaire (Maynard, 2009), and a media usage questionnaire, which was designed for this particular study. Data from these questionnaires was analysed using SPSS. The analysis revealed that males have lower body image than females, but there is no relationship between media usage and body image or self –esteem. It also revealed, contrary to assumption, that there is a negative relationship between self-esteem and body image, for both males and females. Author keywords: Body image, mass media, self esteem, weight, model images