The Beautiful and the Fit Reap the Spoils: Body Image as a Condition for the Positive Effects of Electronic Media Communication on Well-being Among Early Adolescents

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Abstract

The effects of electronic media communication (EMC) and social media on young people’s health and well-being remain under debate, with no conclusive evidence on the connection between the two. By using data on 1,843 early adolescents aged 12–17 years provided by the Danish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression models and by measuring the intensity of EMC instead of the time spent on social media, the study finds that early adolescents tend to experience greater feelings of well-being with a higher intensity of EMC. However, this relationship is conditional. A negative perceptual body image acts as a moderator of the relationship between the intensity of EMC and well-being, whereas the positive relationship between EMC disappears under the condition of a negative body image. These findings provide nuance to the debates on the ways in which EMC affects young people.
Original languageEnglish
JournalYoung
ISSN1103-3088
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Apr 2021

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