Poor body image linked with Facebook time
Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Author: Flinders News, Flinders University
Teenage girls are spending a concerning amount of time on the Internet, potentially leading to low self-esteem and body dissatisfaction, research by Flinders University reveals.
As part of the NetGirls project, Flinders psychologist Dr Amy Slater (pictured) has surveyed 1100 adolescent girls from 18 different high schools across South Australia to determine how the Internet impacts their sense of identity and body image.
The survey found girls in Years 8-9 were spending more than one and a half hours a day on social networking sites and had an average of 215 Facebook "friends" - with some girls having more than 600 contacts.
On average, survey participants spent three hours and 27 minutes a day using Facebook, chat sites and watching TV - well above the Australian guidelines that recommend no more than two hours of screen time per day for adolescents.
More than 40 per cent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with their weight and girls who spent more time grooming, listening to music and using the Internet generally felt worse about themselves and their bodies, and experienced higher feelings of depression.
In comparison, girls who reported spending more time doing homework had more positive feelings about their bodies, a stronger sense of identity and reduced feelings of depression.
Dr Slater, a research fellow in the School of Psychology, said that although TV commercials, magazines and other forms of mass media are frequently criticised for their portrayal of women, the Internet is likely just as influential in shaping teenage girls' views of themselves and their bodies.
To view the full article visit: http://blogs.flinders.edu.au/flinders-news/2012/02/21/poor-body-image-linked-with-facebook-time/