Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Linda Stanhope




self-monitoring, eating disorder, television, media, behavior


This study investigated the association between television exposure and disordered eating, with an emphasis on the potential moderating effects of self-monitoring and thin-ideal internalization. Minimal research has explored the relationship between self-monitoring and eating disorders, and no previous studies have examined the correlation between self-monitoring and the thin-ideal. A sample of 116 female undergraduate students completed measures of self-monitoring, disordered eating, thin-ideal internalization, media exposure, and diet and exercise behaviors. It was hypothesized that high self-monitors, who are more attuned to social cues and appropriateness of behavior, would be more likely than low self-monitors to internalize the thin-ideal. Since thin-ideal internalization is deemed necessary for the manifestation of harmful dieting behaviors, high self-monitors were expected to show more signs of disordered eating. This relationship was expected to be stronger for those who reported watching thin-ideal genres of television than those who watched thin-neutral genres of television. Further, high self-monitors were expected to exercise more frequently, and begin to notice weight, diet, and count calories at earlier ages than low self-monitors. As expected, self-monitoring predicted the degree of internalization and symptoms of disordered eating. These outcome variables were strongly correlated. Self-monitoring was positively correlated with frequency of exercise. The role of media and the relationships between self-monitoring and diet-related behaviors remain unclear. These findings help to identify the qualities that place some girls at higher risk of developing maladaptive responses to exposure to thin-ideal media.