Media literacy as a prevention intervention for college women at low- or high-risk for eating disorders

Janelle W. Coughlin, Cynthia Kalodner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examined whether the media literacy program, ARMED, is an effective prevention intervention for college women at low- or high-risk for an eating disorder. Changes in eating disorder risk factors were assessed in low- (n = 26) and high-risk (n = 19) women participating in a two-session media literacy intervention as compared to low- (n = 31) and high-risk (n = 16) controls. Women at high-risk for an eating disorder reported significant decreases in body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, feelings of ineffectiveness, and internalization of societal standards of beauty after participating in ARMED, whereas control participants did not. No significant decreases in perfectionism, physical appearance comparisons, or awareness of societal standards of beauty were reported among high-risk participants. Changes in eating disorder risk factors were not found among low-risk participants, regardless of treatment condition. Findings suggest that media literacy may be an effective secondary prevention intervention for eating disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-43
Number of pages9
JournalBody Image
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

Keywords

  • Body image
  • Eating disorders
  • Internalization
  • Media literacy
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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