An Examination of Youths’ Social Media Use and Body Image Considering TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram

Charlotte H. Markey, Kristin J. August, Meghan M. Gillen, Diane Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has suggested that social media use may present a risk to body image, but limited research explores newer social media platforms and how they are used. This study examined 275 youths’ (Mage = 20.71) social media use in association with both positive and negative aspects of body image. Participants completed an online survey that included body image measures and items that queried them about the social media platforms they used (e.g., TikTok) and the activities they engaged in on these platforms. Findings indicated that women were more engaged in social media use and had lower body esteem and higher body shame and surveillance than men. Simultaneous regression analyses revealed that appearance-focused social media use, but not communication-focused use, was associated with negative body image. Age moderated the association between appearance-focused social media use and body appreciation. Together, these findings suggest that age, gender, and the ways in which youth use social media are important to consider in understanding potential risk for body image concerns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Media Psychology
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Applied Psychology

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