Media and peer influence on fad diets tried by adolescent females
(Writer) (Last Name)
The Influence of Media and Peers on Adolescent Females Fad Dieting___________________________
Guidance and Counseling/Mental Health Dr. Gary Rockwood 12/99
(Graduate Major) (Research Advisor) (Month/Year)
American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual
(Name of Style Manual Used in this Study)
The purpose of the present study was to examine the impact of the influence of the media and
peers to the number of fad diets attempted by female adolescents ages 13-17 as measured by The Ruth
Gilfry Female Adolescents Informative Survey. More recent trends show that teens are influenced by
modern pop culture depicting thin to equal happiness (Kilbourne, 1987). The problem seems to be that
negative messages toward overweight people began early in the twentieth century and early in one’s life.
Women have been depersonalized through the media and peers and their body parts exploited as
decorative objects. Consequently, females have become obsessed with the fear of fat and with dieting
(Schur, 1984). A teenage girl’s self-evaluation is powerfully influenced by concerns about their weight
(Bramwell, 1996). Approximately 7 million women in the United States are affected by an eating
The subjects involved in this study are thirty-seven adolescent females, ages 13-17
attending self-esteem groups at a counseling center in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. The subjects surveyed
will have had varying duration of counseling from three months to years. The female adolescents
surveyed are voluntary and will have the option to not participate in the study.
The results of this study indicated that the media and peers do seem to influence the number of
fad diets attempted by adolescent females. The study is supported by the literature. Studies show that
teens get their values today more from media and friends than from family or community (Berg, 1997).
The study seemed to show that the influence of magazines is the greatest, followed by peers, and
television approaching significance. The cultural focus on looking a certain way is evident through
television, magazines, and peer pressure (Berg, 1997).
Although, there are not a substantial amount of recent studies done nor sufficient studies with adolescent
females as the subject (Fallon, et al., 1994). A recommendation would be to do more research using
teenage girls as subjects. More recent studies with their own population may educate and help teen girls
dispute the media and peers and make decisions as to what their healthy weight is and what traits are
important in a friend.
School:University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
School Location:USA - Wisconsin
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:dieters self perception in adolescence reducing diets body image peer pressure teenage girls television and children teenagers mass media nutrition disorders
Date of Publication: