ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (2): 282-292.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00282

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Body image disturbance among males: The influence and the hypothesized mechanism of mass media

WANG Yuhui1; LYU Zhenyong1; CHEN Hong1,2; WU Shuangshuang1; XIAO Zilun1   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Southwest University; 2 Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (Southwest University),
    Ministry of Education, Chongqing, 400715, China)
  • Received:2015-04-21 Online:2016-02-15 Published:2016-02-15
  • Contact: CHEN Hong, E-mail:


Recently, body image disturbances are growing prevalent among males, and the mass media has been considered as a significant factor that influence how people feel and think about their bodies. Recent research has demonstrated the negative effects of media on the cognition, feelings (or emotion) and behaviors of males. Based on the sociocultural theory, researchers developed the tripartite influence model to explain the underlying mechanisms of the media influence on males’ body image (Thompson, Heinberg, Altabe, & Tantleff-Dunn, 1999). In this model, three influences (peers, parents, and media) are thought to have a direct effect on body image dissatisfaction as well as indirect effects through two mediational processes: appearance comparison and internalization of ultra-thin and muscular body ideals for women and men, respectively. Future research is needed to assess generalization to diverse samples, combine experimental manipulations with longitudinal study, consider the influence of other variables, enrich and expand the tripartite influence model, and use neuroimaging technology to investigate neural mechanism. In addition, research about prevention and intervention is also needed to reduce the body image disturbance among males.

Key words: body image among males, mass media, the tripartite influence model