Title

Using health promotion principles to prevent eating disorders in 8 to 10 year old girls: Uniting self-esteem, media literacy, and feminist approaches.

Date of Award

2005

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Psychology

Keywords

Psychology, Social.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

Preventing the onset of the clinical eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia, as well as subclinical but still harmful disordered eating behaviours, has proven to be a significant challenge for researchers. The present study examined the effectiveness of a prevention program that utilized self-esteem enhancement, media literacy, and feminist approaches within a health promotion framework. Eighty-two girls between the ages of 8 and 10 years from Boys and Girls Clubs participated in either the intervention or comparison group. The program was evaluated with a pre-test post-test quasi-experimental design with a three month follow-up. While significant program effects were not evident in self-esteem, body satisfaction, or media influence, the results indicated that The Me I'm Meant to Be was associated with decreases in disordered eating attitudes and behaviours, reductions in weightist attitudes and behaviours, and higher levels of perceived social support from friends. Positive evaluations of the program were reported by the participants, their parents, and to a lesser degree, club staff. Future research should focus on ways to improve the level of involvement from parents, which may in turn strengthen the effects associated with the program. Although a great deal more research in the area is needed, the present program appears to be an effective and safe way to improve negative eating, weight, and shape attitudes and behaviours in young girls.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .F55. Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 66-11, Section: B, page: 6333. Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.