Student research

Social Media and Body Image PhD Scholarship

If you are interested in applying for a PhD scholarship to examine the relationship between social media engagement and body image please click here.

Current students

  • Joanna Doley PhD Student
  • Katherine Hill Doctorate of Clinical Psychology Student
  • Alicia Holborn Doctorate of Clinical Psychology Student
  • Tania Nichols Doctorate of Clinical Psychology Student

Past students

Dr Siân McLean

Siân completed her Doctor of Philosophy thesis in 2016. Her thesis was titled “Investigating Media Literacy and Appearance Comparison as Protective and Risk Factors for Body Dissatisfaction in Adolescent Girls: Implications for Prevention”.

Publications resulting from doctoral research:

McLean, S. A., Paxton, S. J., & Wertheim, E. H. (2013). Mediators of the relationship between media literacy and body dissatisfaction in early adolescent girls: Implications for prevention. Body Image, 10, 282-289. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2013.01.009

McLean, S. A., Paxton, S. J., & Wertheim, E. H. (2016). Does media literacy mitigate risk for reduced body satisfaction following exposure to thin-ideal media? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1678-1695. doi: 10.1007/s10964-016-0440-3

Dr Candice Dunstan

Candice completed her Doctoral of Clinical Psychology thesis in 2014. Her thesis was titled“The efficacy of a peer-based intervention in reducing body dissatisfaction and its risk factors among young adolescent females”.

Publications resulting from doctoral research:

Dunstan, C.J., Paxton, S.J., & McLean, S.A. (2016). An evaluation of a body image intervention in adolescent girls delivered in single-sex versus co-educational classroom settings. Eating Behaviors. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2016.03.016

Dr Emma Spiel

Emma completed her Doctoral of Clinical Psychology thesis in 2014. Her thesis was titled “Sociocultural and Individual Predictors of Children’s Body Size Stereotypes, Body Size Ideals, and Dieting Awareness from 3 to 4-Years-Old: A Longitudinal Investigation”. Weight attitudes were examined in a sample of 254 girls and boys from 3 to 4-years-old to test the hypotheses that children:

  1. hold stereotypical beliefs about others based on body size
  2. adhere to cultural body ideals, and
  3. have an awareness of what it means to diet.

She also investigated the hypothesis that child individual characteristics as well as sociocultural variables would predict the development of child body size stereotypes, body size ideals and dieting awareness.

Publications resulting from doctoral research:

Spiel EC, Paxton SJ, Yager Z. Weight attitudes in 3- to 5-year-old children: Age differences and cross-sectional predictors. Body Image 2012;9:524-527.

Spiel EC, Rodgers RF, Paxton SJ, Wertheim EH, Damiano SR, Gregg KJ, et al. ‘He's got his father's bias’: parental influence on weight bias in young children. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 2015.

Future students

Our EMBodIED Research team members are available to supervise student research towards the completion of Honours in Psychology, Clinical Psychology Masters or Masters by Research, and Doctor of Philosophy. If you are interested in learning more about potential student projects, please contact one of our team members directly by following the links on our team members page.