Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Clarke, N., Di Blasi, Z., Murphy, M.
Psychology, Health and Medicine Conference
Instagram use, body-esteem and eating disorders.
Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin.
Poster Presentation
Optional Fields
Introduction: Previous literature has extensively investigated the damaging effects that both conventional media and social media use can have on eating disorder symptomatology and body image. However, most of these studies have focused on Facebook. The current study investigates the influence of Instagram, a photo based social media platform popular among adolescents and young adults. Method: Participants (n=489) were female university students who had an active Instagram account. The participants completed an online survey that assessed Instagram use, appearance internalization, media pressures, sexual attractiveness, weight concern and disordered eating behaviours. Results: The primary use of Instagram among the sample was to view content posted by other users, instead of posting their own content. Regression analyses indicated that daily time spent on Instagram [t(484)=4.211, p<.0005] and media pressure [t(484)=8.515, p<.0005] had direct effects on disordered eating Media pressure was also a partial mediator of this relationship. Media pressure was a predictor of sexual attractiveness [t(485)= -5.987, p<.0005] and weight concern [t(485)=-10.755, p<.0005]. Primarily following Lifestyle accounts on Instagram predicted sexual attractiveness scores [t(480)=2.264, p<.05]. Discussion: The individual and unique characteristics of Instagram that are likely to have contributed to the results are discussed. Recommendations for actions that can be taken in order to tackle the potential negative influences of Instagram use are outlined and future research directions are provided.