Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Cortney S. Warren

Second Committee Member

David Copeland

Third Committee Member

Murray Millar

Fourth Committee Member

Mary Berkheiser

Number of Pages



Various forms of portable media (e.g., television, movies, magazines, internet, music) are increasingly accessible to and used by the average adolescent in the U.S. (American Psychological Association [APA], 2007; Ward, 2003). Two of the most popular genres of adolescent entertainment, rap and hip-hop music are frequently criticized for their use of misogynistic images and lyrics that objectify women and glorify sex, drug use, and violence (Bretthauer, Zimmerman & Banning, 2006; Conrad, Dixon & Zhang, 2010; Ward, 2003). Although understudied, one could argue that increased accessibility to and use of such media that fosters sexually-explicit and -objectifying messages common in Western culture could influence body image and behavior of adolescent girls. Furthermore, the negative life experiences and periods of crisis commonly experienced by adolescent girls in trouble with the law (e.g., juvenile justice involvement, trauma, drug use), may make the messages promoted in rap and hip-hop music even more influential and detrimental. Therefore, using theories of objectification and adolescent development as a theoretical framework, the overarching purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between the consumption of rap and hip-hop music and internalization of media-based appearance ideals, objectified body consciousness, negative conventions of femininity, body dissatisfaction, sexual and criminal activity, and drug use in racially diverse female juvenile delinquents. A sample of 159 girls detained in a juvenile detention center in Las Vegas, Nevada, completed self-report measures of objectified body consciousness, thin-ideal media internalization, adolescent femininity ideology, body esteem, and a participant survey. Mean comparisons with published norms indicated less acceptance of negative conventions of femininity, thin-ideal media internalization, body dissatisfaction, and body shame than published norms. As expected, rap and hip-hop music consumption was positively correlated with sexual behavior, marijuana use, and certain criminal behaviors. Regression analyses suggested that acceptance of negative conventions of femininity and thin-ideal media internalization predicts objectified body consciousness and body dissatisfaction (including decreased sexual attractiveness, increased weight concern, and decreased physical attractiveness). Furthermore, having an objectified relationship with one's body predicts body dissatisfaction. Overall, these results suggest that for the girls in this sample, media internalization and traditional gender norms result in self-objectification, increased body shame and body surveillance. Media literacy and strength-based programming within juvenile detention facilities may be an effective form of intervention to promote greater awareness of the detrimental effects of media and gender norm internalization in this population.


Body dissatisfaction; Body image in adolescence; Body image in girls; Female delinquency; Female juvenile delinquents; Hip-hop; Mass media; Objectification; Rap (Music); Teenage girls; Thin-ideal


Other Communication | Psychology | Social Psychology

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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