Associate Spotlight

Jennifer Lewallen, PhD, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Communication, with a research appointment in the Reynolds Journalism Institute, at the University of Missouri (B.A., Communication, University of California Santa Barbara, 2008; M.A., Mediated and Mass Communication, Pepperdine University, 2012). Her work has primarily explored the relationships between emerging adults’ media use and its effects on attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, her research interests include social media and digital technologies and their effects on perceptions of the self and other in diverse health contexts. For example, her dissertation explored how priming body consciousness in a laboratory setting impacts experiences in either fitness-focused or appearance-focused virtual reality conditions. She has also been involved with several research projects with the Reynolds Journalism Institute, including a collaboration with to explore how news organizations can communicate directly and effectively with target readers. She looks forward to future interdisciplinary research collaborations on digital media, journalism, health, and media effects.

Selected works:

Lewallen, J. (2016). When image isn’t everything: The effects of Instagram frames on social comparison. Journal of Social Media in Society, 5(2), 108-133.

Lewallen, J., & Behm-Morawitz, E.  (2016). Pinterest or thinterest?: Social comparison and body image on social media. Social Media+ Society, 2(1), 2056305116640559.

Lewallen, J., Miller, B., & Behm-Morawitz, E. (2016). Lifestyles of the rich and famous: Celebrity media diet and the cultivation of emerging adults’ materialism. Mass Communication and Society19(3), 253-274. doi:10.1080/15205436.2015.1096945