Alexis Wells

Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Communication, Media and Theatre Arts

First Advisor

Dennis Patrick


It has been established that the media (such as television, magazines, etc.) can have a significant effect on body image and eating behaviors, but very few studies have examined the interactions between body image, eating behaviors, and social media. Where media is largely visual, in that material is presented to the viewers for consumption without conscious interaction, social media is almost entirely based upon interactions between the users and the accounts or "friends" they follow. We hypothesized that gender and the specific social media platforms used would be the most significant variables in relation to disordered eating and a low body image score. The present study sought to understand the interactions between reported body image, social media usage. and disordered eating behaviors. By utilizing self-report measures such as the established Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), clear differences were found between participants' genders, the social media platforms they utilized, and their dieting behaviors, bulimic behaviors, and oral control behavior.