An evaluation of an Internet-delivered eating disorder prevention program for adolescents and their parents
Jennifer Lyn Bruning Brown, Stanford University, United States
Stanford University . Awarded
This study evaluated the effectiveness of Student Bodies, an internet-delivered eating disorder prevention program designed for adolescents and their parents. The study included two segments. The first investigated whether Student Bodies was effective in helping adolescent females adopt healthier body image attitudes and healthier eating practices, and the second examined whether a similar program for parents was effective in decreasing parental behaviors that may be risk factors leading to the development of eating disorders. One hundred fifty-two tenth grade females were assigned on the basis of their class schedule to either a wait-list comparison group or the Student Bodies intervention group. Sixty-nine parents agreed to participate in the program and were then either assigned to the Student Bodies parent treatment group or a wait-list control group. Results indicated that students who completed the Student Bodies intervention significantly improved their attitudes and behaviors associated with eating disorders, showing significant change on four of seven dependent measures from baseline to post-intervention and showing decreases in eating disordered behaviors from baseline to post-intervention. Follow up measures, however, indicated some behaviors returning to baseline levels. Results from the parent segment of the study showed that parent participants significantly improved their healthy attitudes while simultaneously decreasing critical attitudes and behaviors toward weight and shape over time. Overall results suggest that while improvements were seen, they may be short-term and indicative of a need for longer and more intensive interventions. However, while no significant changes were seen in the daughters whose parents participated in the intervention, decreases in critical parental behaviors may be a first step in creating a more comprehensive preventative program that produces positive changes across environments.
Bruning Brown, J.L. An evaluation of an Internet-delivered eating disorder prevention program for adolescents and their parents. Ph.D. thesis, Stanford University.
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