Body Talk on Social Networking Sites, Body Surveillance, and Body Shame among Young Adults: The Roles of Self-Compassion and Gender

Abstract

The present study examined whether body talk on social networking sites (SNSs) was positively associated with body surveillance and body shame and whether body surveillance would mediate the relationship between body talk on SNSs and body shame. We also tested whether the links from body talk on SNSs to body surveillance and body shame would be moderated by self-compassion. Furthermore, the moderating role of gender in the mediation model was examined. The model was tested with 194 female and 119 male Chinese university students who completed questionnaires regarding body talk on SNSs, body surveillance, body shame, and self-compassion. Results indicated that body talk on SNSs was positively related to body surveillance and body shame. The relationship between body talk on SNSs and body shame was mediated by body surveillance. Furthermore, self-compassion moderated the association between body talk on SNSs and body shame. No gender difference was found in the mediation model. Findings from the current study provide new insights into the development of objectified body consciousness among women, as well as among men, and highlight the potential value of promoting self-compassion in the prevention of body image concerns.

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Acknowledgements

The present study was supported by the fund for building world-class universities (disciplines) of Renmin University of China.

The authors thank Dr. Xiaochun Xie for helpful advice on this manuscript and Jia Nie, Yuan Fang, Jinjin Guo, Jiayi Wang, Lipeng Yin and Jie Long for assistance in data collection and data entry.

Funding

This study was supported by fund for building world-class universities (disciplines) of Renmin University of China.

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Wang, Y., Wang, X., Yang, J. et al. Body Talk on Social Networking Sites, Body Surveillance, and Body Shame among Young Adults: The Roles of Self-Compassion and Gender. Sex Roles 82, 731–742 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-019-01084-2

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Keywords

  • Body talk on SNSs
  • Body surveillance
  • Body shame
  • Self-compassion
  • Gender differences