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The impact of an educational intervention to protect women against the influence of media images

Ogden, Jane, Smith, L, Nolan, H, Moroney, R and Lynch, H (2011) The impact of an educational intervention to protect women against the influence of media images Health Education, 111 (5). pp. 412-424.

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Media images of unrealistic beauty have been identified as a determinant of women's body dissatisfaction. This experimental study aims to explore whether the negative impact of such images could be reduced by a one-time educational intervention consisting of a presentation and discussion, teaching women to be critical of media images.


Female psychology students (n=176) from a university in the UK were randomly assigned to the control or intervention group and completed measures of body dissatisfaction after being challenged by images of the perfect female body. Follow up data were collected four weeks later.


The results suggested that the intervention had no immediate buffering effect on body dissatisfaction but participants in the intervention group showed a long-term improvement for confidence, attractiveness and body-parts dissatisfaction.

Practical implications

This one-time intervention could be used to protect young women against the detrimental impact of media images in the longer term.


This study provides an evidence base for the use of an educational intervention for young people in schools and colleges.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
Smith, L
Nolan, H
Moroney, R
Lynch, H
Date : 2011
DOI : 10.1108/09654281111161239
Copyright Disclaimer : © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2011. Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in <b>Health Education</b>. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in <b>Health Education, 111 (5), October 2011, DOI 10.1108/09654281111161239</b>.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Educational intervention; Media images; Body dissatisfaction; Young women; Education; Information media
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 01 Dec 2011 17:20
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 16:28

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