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A pilot evaluation of a social media literacy intervention to reduce risk factors for eating disorders

McLean, SA, Wertheim, EH, Masters, J ORCID: 0000-0002-0606-4086 and Paxton, SJ 2017 , 'A pilot evaluation of a social media literacy intervention to reduce risk factors for eating disorders' , International Journal of Eating Disorders, vol. 50, no. 7 , pp. 847-851 , doi:

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Objective: This pilot study investigated the effectiveness of a social media literacy intervention for adolescent girls on risk factors for eating disorders.Method: A quasi-experimental pre- to post-test design comparing intervention and control conditions was used. Participants were 101 adolescent girls (Mage = 13.13, SD = 0.33) who were allocated to receive three social media literacy intervention lessons (n = 64) or to receive classes as usual (n = 37). Self-report assessments of eating disorder risk factors were completed one week prior to, and one week following the intervention.Results: Significant group by time interaction effects revealed improvements in the intervention condition relative to the control condition for body image (body esteem–weight; d = .19), disordered eating (dietary restraint; d = .26) and media literacy (realism scepticism; d = .32).Discussion: The outcomes of this pilot study suggest that social media literacy is a potentially useful approach for prevention of risk for eating disorders in adolescent girls in the current social media environment of heightened vulnerability. Replication of this research with larger, randomized controlled trials, and longer follow-up is needed.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McLean, SA and Wertheim, EH and Masters, J and Paxton, SJ
Keywords: social media, adolescent girls, body dissatisfaction, prevention
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Eating Disorders
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
ISSN: 0276-3478
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2017 Wiley Periodicals

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