Jessica Lewis

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education




Dr. Susan Rodger



The current study examined the influence of media, life transitions, and experience of internalization of societal messages and pressure to look thin on body dissatisfaction among older women. Three research questions were asked in this study: first, is there an association between the media and body dissatisfaction among older women?; second, is there a relationship between recent life transitions and body dissatisfaction; and finally, what is the relationship between life transitions, media influence, and body dissatisfaction? Thirty-one women between the ages of 40 and 63 were surveyed using four measurements, namely the Figure Rating Scale (Stunkard, A. J., Sorenson, T., & Schulsinger, F, 1983), Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Scale- 3 (Thompson J.K, 1994) and Quality of Life Inventory (Frisch, 1994). Correlational analysis reveals a significant relationship between scores on each of the two SATAQ-3 subscales (Internalization-General and Pressure) and the Figure Rating Scale. However, the hypothesized relationship between the level of exposure to popular media and body dissatisfaction among older women was not detected. Results are examined with respect to two theories, Objectification Theory (Bartky, 1990) and Social Comparison Theory (Festinger, 1954), and support for the Social Comparison Theory as the better explanation for the current study’s finding is presented.



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