Cross-Cultural Differences between Japanese and American Female College Students in the Effects of Witnessing Fat Talk on Facebook

Emiko Taniguchi, Hye Eun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined how witnessing fat talk on Facebook affects individuals' body satisfaction and psychological well-being, and investigated cultural differences in such effects between Americans and Japanese. Multi-ethnic American (N = 96) and Japanese (N = 103) female college students completed an online questionnaire after viewing one of four different Facebook profile mock-ups containing fat talk where the body size of the profile owner (underweight vs. overweight) and the messages from her peers (weight loss encouragement vs. discouragement) were manipulated. Findings showed that (a) Japanese who witnessed thin-promoting messages reported lower body satisfaction than those who witnessed thin-discouraging messages, and (b) both Americans and Japanese reported higher psychological well-being when witnessing thin-discouraging messages than thin-promoting messages. The current study illuminates directions of future intercultural media research on the impacts of social networking sites on users' perceptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)260-278
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Intercultural Communication Research
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012

Keywords

  • Body Satisfaction
  • Cross-Cultural Research
  • Facebook
  • Fat Talk

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