Date of Award

Fall 2023

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Psychology

Director of Thesis

Christine Vahlstrom

Second Reader

Sterling Watson

Abstract

This thesis aims to evaluate the impact of social media, especially TikTok, on body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behavior in college-aged women. Previous research established connections between increased social media usage and body dissatisfaction and between the type of content viewed on social media and body dissatisfaction. In addition, several studies showed a connection between body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behavior. To investigate the impact of social media on body image and body dissatisfaction in college-aged women at the University of South Carolina, I collected data using a self-report survey that asked participants questions about which social media platforms they used, how frequently they used social media, and what type of content they watched on these platforms. Participants were also asked about their body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behavior. I hypothesized that the amount of time women spend on social media, their body dissatisfaction, and disordered eating behavior would all be positively correlated. I also hypothesized that viewing content about diet and exercise would correlate with higher body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behavior. The results confirmed my hypotheses that watching diet and exercise content would increase body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behavior and that body dissatisfaction would correlate with disordered eating behavior. There was no correlation between overall time spent on social media and body dissatisfaction and disordered eating behavior. These findings are important because young women need to be aware of the deleterious effects of social media use so they can take measures to avoid them.

First Page

1

Last Page

40

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