The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on social network sites use, body image disturbances and self-esteem among adolescent and young women

Helena Vall-Roqué, Ana Andrés, Carmina Saldaña

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

85 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to determine the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on social network sites (SNS) use and to explore whether SNS use is associated with body image disturbances and low self-esteem. Methods: A total of 2601 women living in Spain aged 14–35 years completed questionnaire measures of SNS use, self-esteem, body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness. In the survey, participants were asked about their use of SNS at the moment of answering the survey and before lockdown. Results: A statistically significant increase was found in the frequency of use of all studied SNS (Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook) during lockdown, as well as in the number of women following appearance-focused Instagram accounts. Moreover, significant relationships were found between the frequency of Instagram use and body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness and low self-esteem in the younger age group (14–24), and between the frequency of Instagram use and drive for thinness in the older age group (25–35). Following appearance-focused accounts on Instagram was related to body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness in the younger group, and only to drive for thinness in the older group (25–35). Following appearance-focused accounts on Instagram and a higher frequency of use of Instagram significantly predicted higher levels of drive for thinness. Conclusion: These results suggest that lockdown has had an impact on SNS use, and this might be linked to increased drive for thinness and eating disorder risk among adolescent and young women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110293
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Body image
  • COVID-19
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-esteem
  • Social networks

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