2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mary Pritchard


Previous research suggests that the relationship between body image is influenced by parents, peers, and media (Rodgers et al., 2011). However, those studies did not distinguish whether family, peers, or media are significantly more influential in people’s body image or propensity for social physique anxiety. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to determine whether family, peers, or media have a greater influence on body image and social physique anxiety in college students. We surveyed 943 college students (693 female, 250 male), ranging in age from 18 to 29 years of age (M = 19.03, SD = 1.59). Media pressure was the primary predictor of social physique anxiety, followed by family pressure, internalization of the thin ideal, internalization of the athletic ideal, and peer pressure. Internalization of the thin ideal was the primary predictor of the drive for thinness, followed by media pressure, family pressure, and peer pressure. Treatment providers should be aware of the importance of media influence, and its consequences (i.e., internalization of media ideals) on college students’ body image and social physique anxiety. Students should be encouraged to think about the ways they are using media and how it might affect them.