Effect of Television Media on Body Image in Adolescent Girls Diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa.

Topics: Female body shape, Anorexia nervosa, Mass media Pages: 8 (2866 words) Published: October 19, 2012
Effect of Television Media on Body Image in Adolescent Girls diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa. Research has continually revealed that television media has had an impact on viewers, however, more specifically studies have indicated that the adolescent has been most impacted especially the population that are diagnosed with eating disorders. In particular, this study will examine the adolescent population diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa usually begins with the adolescent experiencing a negative misperception of their body image which leads to a lack of satisfaction with their body, low self-esteem and the desire to become thin. The adolescent female is influenced by the image of the thin models and movies stars and begins to imagine themselves as that individual. Anorexia nervosa is a serious disorder that has caused serious health complications such as heart problems, dehydration, and emotional problems. This study will investigate the effect of television media on body image of adolescents girls diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Research has shown that the adolescent female is known to spent hours watching soap operas and reality programs. The objective of this paper is to examine the correlation between the hours spent exposed to television media, the specific television program exposure and any possible impact on body image the exposure to television media has on the specified population of anorexic adolescents. More specifically this paper will research the following: 1) Does television media have an effect on body image of adolescent girls between the age of 12 – 16 who are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa 2) What type of television media does the adolescent watch? According to the National Institute on Media and the Family (1996) a study reported that the amount of time an adolescent watches soaps, movies, and movie videos was associated with their body dissatisfaction which led to eating disorders and their desire to be thin and mirror the images observed through the above mentioned media. According to the DSM-IV (1994), Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by a refusal to maintain a minimally normal body weight and the individual is intensely afraid of gaining weight. Further reports indicate that the DSM-IV classification of Anorexia Nervosa indicates a specific lack of satisfaction with body image an individual experiences. (APA). Body image has become an important factor to the self-esteem of the anorexic adolescent population and research has shown that the perception or misconception of body image is definitely correlated to eating disorders. According to Tremblay and Limbos (2009), body image is defined as the internal visual image of body shape and size “that includes perceptions of appearance, feelings and thoughts about the body, how it feels to be inside the body and the body functions and capabilities.” (Tremblay et. al, 2009, p. 62). There are various studies that researched the participant of body image and influence of the media and how body dissatisfaction can lead to eating disorders. In a study conducted by Grabe, Hyde & Ward (2008), it was determined that many girls and young women are dissatisfied with this bodies because of the increasingly thin images dominating the media, magazines and television program and the rewards that are given to these women. Further reports indicate that according to communications theories, repeated exposure to media content leads viewers to begin to accept what is viewed as reality and that this beauty is linked to the women’s ideal of normative and central to attractiveness. (Grabe et. al, 2008, p. 460). Using an experimental research design method Grabe et. al. (2008) tested whether women felt worse about their bodies after being exposed to media that included thin models in comparison to exposure to other types of image. In this particular experiment the women were shown a series of magazines or television advertisements that...
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