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Digital Bodies: A controlled evaluation of a brief classroom-based intervention for reducing negative body image among adolescents in the digital age

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Publication details

JournalBritish Journal of Educational Psychology
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Jul 2021
DateE-pub ahead of print - 4 Aug 2021
DatePublished (current) - 4 Aug 2021
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)280-298
Early online date4/08/21
Original languageEnglish


BACKGROUND: A growing body of research has linked social media use to negative body image.

AIMS: The present research aimed to evaluate the efficacy of Digital Bodies, a brief classroom-based intervention that aims to improve adolescents' body image.

METHODS: British adolescents (N = 290; Age M = 12.81; SD = 0.40; Range = 12-13; Female = 151) were cluster randomized to intervention or waiting list control groups. Measures of body satisfaction, appearance ideal internalization (thin and athletic ideal internalization) and self-objectification were completed at baseline (T1), 1-week post-intervention (T2) and 8-week follow-up (T3).

RESULTS: Multi-level modelling showed adolescents in the intervention group reported improved body satisfaction at T2, in comparison to the control, and crucially this effect was sustained at T3. Additionally, girls reported less thin ideal internalization at T2 relative to the control, but this effect was not sustained at T3. No other intervention effects were found.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, the findings provide initial support for the efficacy of Digital Bodies as an intervention for improving adolescents' body satisfaction.

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The British Psychological Society.

    Research areas

  • adolescents, athletic ideal internalization, body image, intervention, social media, thin ideal internalization

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