Concern about appearance on Instagram and Facebook: Measurement and links with eating disorders



Appearance-related use of Social Networks (SNs) exhibits a clear relationship with the risk of eating disorders (ED). To determine which components of appearance-related use are most important for the detection and prediction of ED, it is necessary to measure concern about appearance on SNs in detail. The two main objectives of this study are to develop and validate the Concern about appearance on SNs scale (CONAPP), and to analyze the relationships between concern about appearance on SNs and the risk of ED. A total of 576 Spanish women over 18 years old, with an average age of 28.88 (SD = 11.14), participated in an online survey. We evaluated the use of the two most-commonly used SNs (Facebook and Instagram), concern about appearance on SNs, and eating attitudes (the latter through the Eating Attitudes Test-26). The psychometric properties of the CONAPP questionnaire were excellent. Strong positive correlations were found between concern about appearance on SNs and risk of ED. The pattern differed between users of Facebook and Instagram. Instagram users were younger, demonstrated higher risk of EDs and higher scores in the CONAPP questionnaire. The implications of the results for the prevention of ED are discussed.

Eating disorders risk; social media; appearance comparison; body image; Facebook use; Instagram use

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