2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Relationships Between Social Media Use, Peer Pressure, Drive for Thinness, and Social Physique Anxiety in College Students

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mary Pritchard


Research suggests that college students have become increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies (Adams et al., 2005, Tiggemann & Pickering, 1996), and some research blames social media use for that (Tiggeman & Miller, 2010). The present study sought to investigate the effects social media usage has on peer pressure, social physique anxiety, and the drive for thinness in college students. We surveyed 1074 college students in an omnibus survey. All of our variables correlated positively with one another. We found peer pressure partially mediated the relationship between time spent on social media and social physique anxiety; however, it did not mediate the relationship between time spent on social media and drive for thinness. Our results suggest that while social media clearly affects college students’ drive for thinness and social physique anxiety, for some, peer pressure is also a contributing factor to those relationships.

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