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Department

Psychology

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

In recent years, websites that stress the message of thinness as the ideal and only choice have surfaced on the internet. As a source of media, pro-anorexia websites have detrimental effects similar to other forms of media (e.g., magazines, TV). In addition, friends may be influencing one another to view these websites, thus increasing the risk of developing a drive for thinness in women and a drive for muscularity in men. Approximately 300 male and female undergraduate psychology students responded to questionnaires assessing: viewership and use of pro-anorexia websites, influence of friends to view pro-anorexia websites, drive for muscularity, and drive for thinness. Results showed viewership of pro-anorexia websites was positively correlated with drive for thinness in women, and negatively correlated with drive for muscularity in men. Pro-anorexia websites were found to be the only predictor of both drive for thinness in women and drive for muscularity in men.

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Faculty Mentor

Dr. Mary E. Pritchard