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


McLean, SA and Wertheim, EH and Masters, J and Paxton, SJ, A pilot evaluation of a social media literacy intervention to reduce risk factors for eating disorders, International Journal of Eating Disorders, 50, (7) pp. 847-851. ISSN 0276-3478 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 Wiley Periodicals

DOI: doi:10.1002/eat.22708


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:social media, adolescent girls, body dissatisfaction, prevention
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Educational psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Masters, J (Dr Jennifer Masters)
ID Code:115595
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:80
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2017-03-31
Last Modified:2018-05-31

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