The impact of advertisements featuring ultra-thin or average-size models on women with a history of eating disorders

Halliwell, Emma, Dittmar, Helga and Howe, Jessica (2005) The impact of advertisements featuring ultra-thin or average-size models on women with a history of eating disorders. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 15 (5). pp. 406-413. ISSN 1052-9284

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Abstract

Previous research demonstrates that exposure to ultra-thin media models leads to increased body image concerns amongst women (Groesz, Levine, & Murnen, 2002). There is emerging evidence that attractive, average-size models do not have this negative effect and can be effective in advertising (e.g. Halliwell & Dittmar, 2004). The present study investigates these factors amongst women with a history of eating disorders. Participants either viewed advertisements featuring ultra-thin, average-size or control images. Immediately after exposure, they reported their body-focused anxiety and rated the effectiveness of the advertisements. Whereas exposure to ultra-thin models did not lead to increased body-focused anxiety, exposure to average-size models produced a relief effect, whereby women reported lower levels of body-focused anxiety. Advertisements featuring ultra-thin and average-size models were equally effective. The results suggest that average-size, attractive models could be used effectively in advertising, which may help to relieve body image concerns amongst these women.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Co-author
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Helga Dittmar
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:39
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 13:37
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/13754
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