Digital technologies and adolescents’ body image

Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, Kun Yan, Heather Gahler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


For teens today, the time they spend with digital technologies represents more than a 40-h work week. In light of the prominent role that technologies take in their lives, this chapter is a review of research on the role of digital technologies in shaping adolescents’ body image. Grounded in sociocultural and social comparison theories, we review evidence on social media, selfies, image retouching, fitspiration, and body-related online forums. We also highlight an important future direction in this research literature: the examination of how digital technologies shape and sustain positive body image. Also, in this review, we foreground the developmental considerations of the adolescent audience and the affordances of digital technologies, ultimately providing a conceptual map of the research by examining the intersections between developmental considerations and technological affordances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Health, First Edition
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780128188736
ISBN (Print)9780128188729
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • Adolescence
  • Body image
  • Fitspiration
  • Image retouching
  • Internalization of appearance ideals
  • Selfies
  • Social comparison
  • Social media
  • Social support
  • Technological affordances
  • Technology
  • Tripartite influence model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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