Research Article | Open Access

Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, and Media Exposure Among Adolescents

    Asma Nigar

    National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

    Irum Naqvi

    National Institute of Psychology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

24 Mar, 2017
11 Feb, 2019
31 Mar, 2019

The present study was planned to explore the relationship between body dissatisfaction, perfectionism, and media exposure among adolescents. Sample of young adults (N = 376) students including boys (n = 174) and girls (n = 202) of age range from 16 to 21 years (M = 18.2; SD = 1.24) took part in the research. Multidimensional Self-Relations Questionnaire Appearance Scale (Cash, 2000), Perfectionism Inventory (Hill et al., 2004) and Media Exposure list (Hayee, 2012) were used to assess study variables. The outcomes demonstrated that body areas satisfaction has negative connection while appearance orientation has positive association with perfectionism. Young ladies scored high on appearance orientation, overweight preoccupation, self-classified weight, and perfectionism while scored low on appearance evaluation and body areas satisfaction when contrasted with young men. Media exposure moderates the relationship between body areas satisfaction and perfectionism. These results have essential ramifications for future counteractive action and intercession endeavors which need to target teenagers’ particularly young ladies at early age when convictions and worries about weight and shape are less fortified.

Individual's comfort levels are governed by individual's body awareness, thoughts, values and beliefs. The body is constantly in the spotlight as it is the principal segment evident in social relations that is interested in judging individuals. The way people think, feel and believe about their bodies has critical consequences on them. In this way, body image is vital for the advancement of self-esteem (Roze, 2014). Body image is a multi-dimensional construct which includes affective, cognitive and, perceptions about body experience (Cash, 2002; Cash & Pruzinsky, 2004). Researchers characterize body dissatisfaction as an individual's negative thought patterns about his or her body. Body image perceptions vary inside and between diverse cultures and they have advanced over hundreds of years (Pope, Phillips, & Olivardia, 2000). Media is the device used to store and convey data or information. Television is a manifestation of electronic media. Its work in our daily life is expanding and with that posturing danger of it, is additionally expanding (Desai, 2005).

Mass media functions both unexpectedly and by intent in the socialization process of community and transmit the culture of the broader society in terms of beliefs, values, philosophy, formal and informal behavior and habitual patterns (Mubarak, 2014). It is a basic perception that youngsters watch and appreciate models of television and they attempt to look like them (Hayee, 2012). Subsequently, media is termed as a powerful motivator. On the other hand, it varies from individual to individual, how he recognizes the circumstances for the profit of the general public or the path around (Stice & Whitenton, 2002). Today the most debating issue is society's part in media and capacity of media in affecting society (Giovanni, 2008). Media has impact on individuals’ thoughts and changes their opinions (Yang, 2012). Media is subject to impact appearance satisfaction by the usage of social correlation process and social comparison (Lew, Mann, Myers, Taylor, & Bower, 2007; Tiggemann & McGill, 2004), and body image concerns are additionally connected with perfectionism (Wade & Tiggemann, 2013). Media is a capable gadget in making and passing on appearance related social values not by just sending imaginative messages about beauty additionally transmitting the gender-based anticipations (Cash, 2002).

Perfectionism is considered to be a risk factor for determining body image issues, body image distortion and body dissatisfaction (Wade & Tiggemann, 2013). Wade and Tiggemann (2013) investigate the relationship between desired silhouette, Body Mass Image (BMI) and perfectionism. A lower BMI has positive association with organization and worry over slip-ups and a littler perfect figure was related with larger amounts of worry over errors and organization. Self-esteem, perfectionism and body dissatisfaction interact to predict bulimic symptom development (Kathleen, Zachary, Ieremy, & Anna, 2001). Becker (2004) stated that self-image and beauty standards were never a concern among teenagers in a domain where television activities were not accessible, until the easy approach to media (Becker, 2004; Knauss, Paxton, & Alsaker, 2007). Different contents of media have different impact on individuals. The content of music videos was associated with greater body image concerns and the results showed that as the time watching music videos increases, the utilization of dietary supplements in participants also increases (Botta, 2003). The affective variables or emotions and feelings play a significant part in every aspect of life. It has been suggested that emotions and affect manipulate the intentions and behaviors of individuals (Bagozzi, Baumgartner, & Pieters, 1998). Baumeister, Stillwell, and Heatherton (1994) reported that guilt promotes a variety of prosocial impacts and it also propels people towards amendments and change. This study suggested that when people feel guilty about their weight regulation, they are more inclined towards body dissatisfaction.

Puberty and adolescence cause a range of social, physical, and emotional progressions. Besides, it is evident that the body changes occurring throughout puberty for females could be to a greater degree of struggle as compared to young men (Davidson & Mccabe, 2006; Davison, Markey, & Birch, 2003; Dohnt & Tiggemann, 2005). Body dissatisfaction is greater among younger females as compared to older ones (Sejla & Osman, 2008). For boys, few studies suggest that from ages 8 to 17, the body dissatisfaction increases in different phases of development (Conner, Martin, Silverdale, & Grogan, 1996; Schur, Sanders, & Steiner, 2000). Boys of ages 8 to 12 years old had a desire of thinness (McCabe & Ricciardelli, 2005). At the point when young boys experience puberty, their expanding body size brings about a physical make up closer to the husky male socially perfect, along these lines, boys have more positive experiences during adolescence as compared to young girls (Davidson & McCabe, 2006). The teenagers also experience changes in their relationships along with other emotional and social changes during adolescence. Additionally, Feingold and Mazzella (as cited in Davidson & McCabe, 2006) stated that adolescence is a critical and vulnerable phase for body image disturbances in females. Hewitt and Flett (1991) discovered no variation in gender while inspecting perfectionism. Whereas, females indicated a higher score in a subscale of self-oriented perfectionism but were found to be less socially prescribed than males in a study on Turkish adolescents conducted by Caglar, Bilgili, Karaca, Ayaz, and Asci (2010). Perfectionism and personality attributes have an association between them which is also found to be associated with gender. For instance, self-oriented perfectionism comprises of attributes of egotism and aggression among men, whereas characteristics of agreeableness and openness were found in women (Hewitt & Flett, 2002).

A psychological social learning model by Cash (2000), evaluates self-attitudinal parts of the self-perception. It comprises of five components of the accompanying regions relating to self-perception: appearance assessment, and body area satisfaction, overweight pre-occupation and self-classified weight. Appearance evaluation shows sentiments of physical attraction or realization or emotions of physical unattractiveness and disappointment with appearance. Appearance orientation shows the degree to which an individual spots vitality on how they look and participate in across the board preparing practices and uses the amount effort to look great. Body area satisfaction scale demonstrates the emotions of satisfaction and dissatisfaction of people with discrete parts of their appearance. Overweight preoccupation measures high or low-fat anxiety, weight awareness, abstaining from food. Self-classified weight incorporates the view of people as overweight or underweight.

It has been recognized that there is a cognitive phase to perfectionism. Perfectionists are also prone to numerous experiences of negative thoughts reflecting perfectionist idea and these thoughts have been shown to employ a damaging role in contributing to psychological suffering (Flett, Hewitt, & Dyck, 1998). It is a multidimensional construct that involves having raised individual standards or striving for incredibleness, having concerns over errors, elevated expectations for others, require for support, and having a propensity towards fixed thoughts (Hill et al., 2004). Ishfaq (2007) found that there exists a relationship between body image and self-contentious of young girls and reported that the girls who have high body image are more self-assertive as compared to those with low body image. Zubair (2008) conducted a research and found that those who are satisfied with their body are more content with their life. Sajjad, Sameer, and Khalid (2006) in their research proposed that a high level of media internalization and had an external locus of control, will perceive a negative view of self with respect to their body. A study of Najam and Ashfaq (2012) investigated that there is a significant relationship between physical fitness and body shape concern. Roze (2014) found there is a positive correlation between perfectionism and disordered eating behaviors which indicates that people with perfectionist tendencies develop more disordered eating behaviors. Moreover, girls showed more disordered eating behavior and perfectionism than boys. Another study conducted by Mubarak (2014) revealed that striving to be perfect is positively related with intrinsic motivation and negatively related with the trait anxiety. Whereas, negative reactions to imperfection, perceived pressure to be perfect from colleagues, parents and students showed significant positive relationship with the trait anxiety and extrinsic motivation.

The model of this research is determined in existing literature, in the light of which it is seen that perfectionism is a quality which is emphatically related with body disappointment or dissatisfaction while body dissatisfaction is positively related to media exposure. Research on body image advocates media is likely to affect appearance contentment by the use of social comparison processes (Tiggemann & McGill, 2004) and it is also increased in the presence of perfectionism (Wade & Tiggemann, 2013). The proposed model on the basis of relationship expressed by Tiggemann and McGill (2004) is modified and the relationship of both variables body satisfaction or appearance evaluation and perfectionism is expected to be moderated by the variable of media exposure. The research aims to explore the relationship within the adolescents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. The importance of this study is that no such research has been conducted before upon this particular sample within the context of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It is important to understand the reason behind body dissatisfaction in order to control and prevent it. It is thus highly significant to test the models with in the local context.

Media is a rich supplier of information for social science research and provides great in-depth information about social stereotypes projected through verbal communication and message system (Blond, 2008). Mass media especially the television is considered to be the most stimulating pillar of society in today’s world of post-modernity (Bartlett, Vowels, & Saucier, 2008). Body dissatisfaction is viewed as a hazard factor for disordered eating and it turns out to be progressively hazardous when perfectionism is present at abnormal states. A lower body mass index was connected with expanded association and worry over missteps and a little perfect outline was related with more elevated amounts of worry over mistakes and question about actions and organization. These results suggest that different dimensions of perfectionism have an association with body dissatisfaction (Wade & Tiggemann, 2013).

Many demographic variables related to perfectionism and body image dissatisfaction have been studied such as Hewitt and Flett (1991) found no variation in gender while examining perfectionism. Hewitt et al. (2003) found gender differences indicating male participants to be less or non-perfectionist as compared to female participants.

During adolescence the body image issues are of particular concerns not because it is a significant period of shaping opinions about oneself and sociocultural standards but also because the beginning of puberty involves body modifications. Puberty and adolescence cause a range of social, physical, and emotional progressions (Davidson & McCabe, 2006). Socialization emphasizes men to struggle for a muscular and stronger body, whereas for women, thinness is emphasized (Croll, 2005). Feingold and Mazzella (cited in Davidson & McCabe, 2006) stated that body related concerns are much more prevalent in girls, but it can also bring some disturbances in boys which may continue in their adulthood too, so there is a need to explore body dissatisfaction in adolescents, and its relationship with the perfectionism and media exposure. Many Asian countries including Pakistan are undergoing rapid social and economic changes. There is a wide spread adoption of western styles and habits and attitudes perhaps due to increased exposure to media. As a result of changes in cultural norms and concepts of beauty, body image concerns previously thought to be rare in conservative societies like Pakistan might be becoming more prevalent. It is important to study the body image problems in different countries and different cultures so that the potential risk factors for body image issues and its related factors such as media exposure and perfectionism could be identified in order to determine the need for treatment, prevention and education.


  1. To explore the relationship between body dissatisfaction, perfectionism and media exposure among adolescents.
  2. To study the gender related differences on body dissatisfaction, perfectionism and media exposure among adolescents.
  3. To explore the moderating role of media exposure on the relationship between perfectionism and body areas satisfaction among adolescents.


Sample was taken through convenient sampling technique. The sample consists of 376 students of age range from 16 to 21 years (M = 18.2; SD =1.24). There were 174 (46.3%) boys and 202 (53.7%) girls in the sample. The data was collected from the colleges (i.e., Federal Government Post Graduate College for Women, Kashmir Road, Federal Government Sir Syed College, Gordon College, Askari College) and universities (University of Lahore & Foundation University) of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. A total of 219 (58.2%) students were from colleges and 157(41.8%) students were from universities.

Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire Appearance Scale (MBSRQ-AS).
Body dissatisfaction was evaluated by Multidimensional Body Self-Relations Questionnaire Appearance Scale (MBSRQ-AS), created by Cash (2000). It evaluates self-attitudinal parts of the self-perception develop. Authorization to utilize the scale from the creator of the scale was taken. The scale comprises of thirty four statements, which are sub-isolated into five subscales. It comprises of unequal number of proclamations from every one of the accompanying zones relating to body image: Appearance evaluation (3, 5, 9, 12, 15, 18, 19), orientation (1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 21), body areas satisfaction scale (26-34), overweight pre-occupation (4, 8, 22, 23), self-classified weight (24, 25). Items number 11, 14, 16, 18, 19 and 20 are negatively scored.

The MBSRQ-Just like a five-point Likert type scale for items. 1-22 proclamations are scored on a rating scale going from Definitely disagree (1) to “Definitely agree (5). For item 23, the statement is scored on a rating scale ranging from “Never (1) to “Very often (5). For items 24 and 25 statements are scored on a rating scale ranging from “Very underweight (1) to “Very overweight (5)”. For items 26 and 34 statements are scored on a rating scale ranging from “Very dissatisfied (1) to “Very satisfied (5)”. The alpha unwavering quality for the appearance evaluation is .88, for appearance orientation is .84, overweight preoccupation is .74, self-classified weight is .85 and for body areas satisfaction scale is .85 (Cash, 2002).

Perfectionism Inventory. Perfectionism inventory was developed by Hill et al. in 2004. Approval to use the scale was granted by the Hill on email. The scale consists of total 59 items divided in to 8 subscales. The subscales consist of unequal number of statements from each of the following areas pertaining to perfectionism. The subscales are: High Standards for others (3, 11, 19, 27, 35, 43, 50), Need for Approval (2, 10, 18, 26, 34, 42, 49, 59), Concerns over mistakes (6, 14, 22, 30, 38, 46, 53, 57), Organization (4, 12, 20, 28, 36, 44, 51, 56), Parental Pressure (7, 15, 23, 31, 39,47, 54, 58), Plan-fulness (5, 13, 21, 29, 37, 45, 52), Striving for Excellence (1, 9, 17, 25, 33, 41), Rumination (8, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 55). It is 5 point Likert scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. There are no reverse scored items in the scale. There is no cut-off score so higher scores indicate higher perfectionism and low scores indicate low perfectionism. All the items are positively scored and there are no reverse score items. The overall reliability is .91 (Hill et al., 2004).

Media Exposure List. Media Exposure List was used which was developed by Hayee (2012) to measure the exposure of entertainment media exposure in hours per day. First item of media exposure list depends on most loved stimulation projects of people from Pakistani, Indian and Western electronic media. Next three items are about number of days people watch specific media. At that point 12 items got some information about rating the people's collaboration with specific electronic media on 7 point rating scale that extend from One hour of the day, Two hours, Three hours, Four hours, Five hours and Over five hours. All the items are positively scored and there are no reverse scored items. Overall alpha reliability was reported to be .79 (Hayee, 2012).


The data was collected from colleges and universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. After taking the approval from the official authorities (Principals) of each institute, the students were approached individually, and nature and benefits of the study were explained to them. Instructions were given to them so that they respond correctly. The data was collected in the presence of the researcher. The participants were guaranteed about the privacy of their information and that their data will be used for research purpose only. They were encouraged to ask any question regarding the instrument. Then the questionnaires were given to them and data was collected after obtaining their consent. The participants and the authorities were thanked for their support.


Keeping in view the objectives of the study, different statistical analyses were computed to achieve a number of results. The selected analyses included Pearson correlation, t-test was used to find differences, and moderation analysis was also conducted.

Relationship between Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, and Media Exposure
Correlation matrix was generated among all study variables in order to see at a glance how variables of study relate to each other. This allowed for gaining the superficial insight about the relationship among study variables so that further probing may be done subsequently.

Table 1:
Correlation Between Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, Media
Exposure and Body Mass Index (N = 376)

Note. BASS = Body Area Satisfaction Scale; AE = Appearance Evaluation;
AO= Appearance Orientation; OWP= Overweight Preoccupation;
SCW= Self-Classified Weight; PI= Perfectionism Inventory;
MEL= Media Exposure List; BMI = Body Mass Index
*p < .05. **p < .01

Table 1 displays the correlation matrix for body image scales with perfectionism inventory and media exposure list. Body area satisfaction scale has a significant positive relationship with appearance evaluation and appearance orientation, whereas a significant negative relationship with overweight preoccupation, self-classified weight, media exposure, and perfectionism. Appearance evaluation had significant negative relationship with overweight preoccupation, media exposure and perfectionism whereas nonsignificant positive relationship with self-classified weight. Appearance orientation had nonsignificant positive relationship with overweight preoccupation, significant positive relationship with media exposure and perfectionism, whereas it has a significant negative relationship with self-classified weight. Overweight preoccupation had significant positive relationship with self-classified weight and media exposure, and nonsignificant positive relationship with perfectionism. Media exposure list and perfectionism inventory had nonsignificant positive correlation. BMI is negatively related with body area satisfaction and appearance evaluation whereas it is positively related with self-classified weight. BMI has nonsignificant positive relationship with appearance orientation and perfectionism.

Gender Differences in Study Variables
Differences are found with reference to the gender of study participants. For this, t-analysis was used to analyze differences between boys and girls on study variables.

Table 2:
Gender Differences in Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, Media
Exposure List, and Body Mass Index (N = 376)

Note.CI = confidence interval; LL = lower limit, UL = upper limit; AE = Appearance
Evaluation; AO = Appearance Orientation; OWP = Overweight Preoccupation;
SCW = Self-classified weight; BASS = Body Area Satisfaction Scale; PI=
perfectionism inventory; MEL= Media Exposure List

Table 2 shows the results of t-test comparing gender-based differences on all study variables. The results revealed that there are significant gender differences on the variable appearance evaluation, with girls scoring less than boys. Appearance orientation has differences based on gender, with girls having more concerns related to body as compared to boys. Girls scored high on over-weight preoccupation. Significant gender differences were found on self-classified weight showing that girls scored high on this variable. It indicates that girls considered themselves as overweight. Boys scored high on body area satisfaction scale showing that with comparison to girls, boys are more satisfied with their body areas. Significant differences were found on perfectionism between girls and boys. Girls scored high on perfectionism. Nonsignificant gender differences were found on media exposure. Boys have greater BMI as compared to girls.

Moderation of Media Exposure on the Relationship between Perfectionism and Body Areas Satisfaction
Regression analysis for the moderation was conducted. The moderation of the effect of perfectionism on body dissatisfaction by media exposure was assessed using the regression analysis. Significant results were found for only body area satisfaction and while nonsignificant results were found for rest of body image subscales. Only significant results are reported in the tabular form.

Table 3:
Moderation of Media Exposure on the Relationship between
Perfectionism and Body Satisfaction in Adolescents (N=376)

Note. Med = media; Perf = perfectionism

Table 3 shows the results of regression analysis for moderation. The value for the interaction term (perfectionism x media exposure) is significant. The variation because of the interaction term is 20%. This shows the mediator affects the connection between the other two factors. The β value for the collaboration impact is negative demonstrating that the relationship uncovers expectation negative way. The consequences of the table subsequently uncovered are steady with the calculated model of this exploration utilizing perfectionism as a predictor, body satisfaction as result, and media exposure as mediator.

Figure 2 shows the mod-graph for the relationship between perfectionism and body satisfaction. The figure shows that body satisfaction decreases at high perfectionism. It additionally shows that media exposure contrarily reinforces the connection between body areas satisfaction and perfectionism. At the point when hugeness of inclines was processed it demonstrated nonsignificant slope with t = .05 (p > .05) for high media exposure, t = .06 (p > .05) for medium dimension of media presentation, and t = .09 (p > .05) for low dimension of media exposure confirms no strong media exposure for all intensity levels.

Fig. 1: Moderation of the effect of perfectionism on body satisfaction by media exposure within total adolescent sample


The fundamental point of this exploration was to examine the connection between body image, perfectionism and media exposure. Besides this, another aim was to study the gender related differences on study variables among adolescents. The results indicated significant negative relationship between body area satisfaction and perfectionism (Table 1) which shows that body satisfaction decreases with high perfectionism (Cain, Bardone-Cone, Abramson, Vohs, & Joiner, 2008). Results revealed appearance orientation has a positive relationship with perfectionism. This result is supported by the study of Davis, Karvinen and McCreary (2005) which reported that perfectionism and anxiousness were associated with the drive for brawniness in men and thinness in women. Thus, these characteristic lead men to use anabolic steroids, engaging in excessive weight training and use of other unhealthy actions in order to obtain muscularity whereas perfectionist tendencies in women also lead them towards unhealthy behaviors and excessive diet pills in order to obtain ideal standards of beauty. Another study found that socially prescribed perfectionism has been significantly correlated to appearance concerns, weight concerns and shape concerns in individuals (Bardone-Cone et al., 2007). In addition, individuals who perceived that their significant others expected them to be perfect were also less satisfied with their body appearance. This highlights the significance of the interpersonal aspects of body dissatisfaction. It seems as if the perceived pressure from others to appear perfect is greater than the pressure of one’s personal standards to meet the ideal (Bardone-Cone et al., 2007).

The results indicate negative relationship of appearance evaluation and body area satisfaction with the media exposure (see Table 1). It indicates that the appearance evaluation and body area satisfaction decreases with the increase in media exposure and it is supported by the research findings which show that the high appearance evaluation and high body area satisfaction is associated with the low media exposure and indicates that increased negative appearance evaluation was associated with negative feelings regarding one’s body image and weight after viewing models (Van-Dijke & Poppe, 2003). It is also supported by another study that media exposure is associated with body image dissatisfaction (Van & Vonderen, 2012). It is important to note that individual’s thoughts and attitudes toward body are changed when the individuals start comparing their body shapes with others by means of media ideal figures. Peers and media figures serve as references for body image standards and these references in turn lead to eating and exercise behaviors. The self-reflection part of social learning hypothesis (Bandura, 2001) is viewed as related with body image distortion. Television is an increasingly entangled apparatus for reshaping individual and social personalities inalienable in their endeavors to re-shape their bodies; media symbolism is utilized in both imaginative and dangerous courses by youthful people to explore openings and clashes presented by the quickly changing social condition. Media exposure is found to be positively correlated with body dissatisfaction which was also found in previous researches (Blouin, 1995; Eisend & Moller, 2007; Smolak, Levine, & Thompson, 2001).

Table 1 show that appearance orientation and overweight preoccupation has a significant positive relationship with media exposure. It is supported by a research conducted by Karen and Jarry (2008) which found that ideal images in media are more influential for those individuals who spent more investment in their appearance for self-definition as compared to the individuals investing low. It also reports that no differential reactions to ideal images were displayed by individuals with high and low investment for appearance management. Overall, these findings suggest that regardless of the motivation, individuals invested more in their appearance due to media exposures following experiencing more negative consequences. Another study suggests that exposure to television and drama is significantly associated with the body dissatisfaction; yet, this effect may likewise be dominated by different elements. Upward correlation with media figures was the most grounded media factor identified with body dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. According to Shrum and Bischak (2001), substance of media exposure widens the span of existing generalizations on TV, for example, generalizations of dainty female ideals. It additionally fortifies the current attitudes, for example, the possibility that slenderness in females and muscularity in males is a necessary attribute for the achievement of success and social desirability and these attitudes cause body.

A model modification was performed on the basis of existing literature (Tiggemann & McGill, 2004) along with the details extended through the help of information presented by Wade and Tiggemann (2013). The model explained that perfectionism is negatively related with body satisfaction and appearance evaluation while media exposure acts as a moderator (see Figure 1). The result reveals the proposed model to be correct and the relationship of perfectionism and body satisfaction moderated by media exposure (see Table 3). Significant results were revealed for the moderation effect of perfectionism on appearance evaluation by media exposure (see Table 4) and these results are supported by studies which indicate that media exposure moderates the relationship between perfectionism and body satisfaction or appearance evaluation (Mitchell, Petrie, Greenleaf, & Martin, 2012; Want, 2009).

Noteworthy gender differences were found on over-weight preoccupation and self-classified weight. The results (Table 2) showed that girls had high over-weight preoccupation as compared to boys. Similarly, girls scored high on self-classified weight than boys, which is similar to findings of previous studies which verified a higher occurrence of body image disturbance in terms of overweight preoccupation and self-classified weight among adolescent girls (Katzmarzyk et al., 2004; Leit, Gray & Pope, 2002; Thomsen, 2002). According to a study, young ladies are commonly increasingly worried about their self-perception, introducing more noteworthy disappointment and weight gain concerns and inclining toward thinness beliefs thus classifying themselves as overweight (Williams, Ricciardelli, McCabe, Waqa, & Bavadra, 2006).

Table 2 revealed that there are significant gender differences on the variable of appearance evaluation, with girls showing low scores than boys. Scoring low in appearance evaluation indicates that the girls are dissatisfied with various aspects of their body, this is consistent with the results of the study of Hargreaves and Tiggeman, (2002). In the present study, boys scored high on body area satisfaction scale showing that boys are more satisfied with their body areas as compared to girls (see Table 4). It is evident from most of the researches that girls have more body dissatisfaction as compared to boys (Hargreaves & Tiggeman, 2002; Katzmarzyk et al., 2004; Williams et al., 2006).

Significant differences were found on the perfectionism between girls and boys (see Table 2). Mean score for girls on perfectionism is and mean score for boys show that girls scored high on perfectionism, which is supported by a study in which girls seemed to be more inclined towards perfectionism as compared to boys. A research by Parker and Mills (1996) found gender differences indicating boys to be less or non-perfectionist as compared to girls.


The study’s aim was to investigate the relationship between body dissatisfaction, perfectionism and media exposure. The results revealed that appearance evaluation and body area satisfaction have negative, while appearance orientation has a positive relationship with perfectionism. Media exposure moderates the relationship between perfectionism and body satisfaction. Over all, girls scored high on body dissatisfaction and perfectionism.


As regard to limitations of this study, the few limitations and suggestions of the study are discussed. Due to scarcity of resources and time bounds the sample was restricted only to the college and universities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, which is a major hindrance in the generalizability of the research. So, the generalizability of the research can be enhanced by selecting a larger sample and from several colleges and universities of different cities.

The data was collected through self-report inventories which may have affected the responses due to subjectivity and fake answers therefore, self-report inventories should be used along with reporting by parents or significant others.

Other variables such as parental influences, peer teasing, that have been established as risk factors for development of body dissatisfaction (Mitchell et al., 2012) were not included in the present study. These should be studied in the local context.

The sample of the study consisted of only adolescents, so this could not be generalized to other age groups. It would be valuable to explore the ways in which media literacy is acquired and how it might be related to educational attainment or other demographic variables.


The present discoveries have imperative ramifications for future intervention endeavors, which need to target young people at early age when convictions and worries about weight and shape are less fortified. It is evident that these efforts should educate children, parents and teachers on the role of media exposure on body dissatisfaction. A potentially productive approach for intervention and prevention may be to increase the awareness of adolescents about impact of social comparisons on media and internalization on body dissatisfaction.

In addition, present investigation will likewise help the policy makers, guardians and administrative experts to build up their restriction approach about what to appear on TV as it is influencing our children who are the principle mainstays of society and future holders of any country. Guardians can likewise get help in molding their very own conduct and acknowledgment level just as their job in child development. The present investigation likewise reveals insight into the seriousness of how people particularly youth set the measures and high objectives which are frequently nonsensical or illogical. When these goals are not met up to their expectations then these individuals’ predisposed orderliness, ritualistic behavior and rigidity are challenged. These strivings to be excellent leads to many problems like depression, anxiety, body dissatisfaction etc. So, it is important to educate students who are more vulnerable. It is also important to educate friends and teachers to identify such vulnerable students who are going through these feelings and help them.


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How to Cite this paper?

APA-7 Style
Nigar, A., Naqvi, . (2019). Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, and Media Exposure Among Adolescents. Pak. J. Psychol. Res, 34(1), 57-77.

ACS Style
Nigar, A.; Naqvi, . Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, and Media Exposure Among Adolescents. Pak. J. Psychol. Res 2019, 34, 57-77.

AMA Style
Nigar A, Naqvi . Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, and Media Exposure Among Adolescents. Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research. 2019; 34(1): 57-77.

Chicago/Turabian Style
Nigar, Asma, and Irum Naqvi. 2019. "Body Dissatisfaction, Perfectionism, and Media Exposure Among Adolescents" Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research 34, no. 1: 57-77.