Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Kevin Hull


This study aimed to contribute to mass communication discipline by quantitatively exploring the relationship between social media usage on Instagram, cultural identity, and body image dissatisfaction as a mental health concern for Black Female College Athletes (BFCAs) through the objectification theory framework. BFCAs (n = 89) were recruited from all NCAA and NAIA divisions including both Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs) and Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to take an online survey, which asked about their social media use, athletic and cultural identity, and objectified body image perceptions. The findings suggest that Black female college athletes’ social media usage patterns on Instagram had no effect on their body image dissatisfaction. However, between the meta-perceptions of their coaches, parents/family, and friends, BFCAs in this study believed their coaches desired them to be slightly smaller while their friends desired them to be bigger. Future research, theoretical and practical implications of this study for collegiate sports administrators and personnel were addressed.


© 2023, Shelbretta Kar’Anna Ball

Available for download on Sunday, August 31, 2025