Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Jessica Toft

Abstract

This study examined the relative pressure of family, peers, and media influences on adolescent boys and girls and their development and maintenance of their eating disorders. A mixed method study was facilitated using a 22-question survey that was taken by freshmen and sophomores, ages 18-21, from the University of St. Thomas. These students accessed the survey via the University’s online informational website, Bulletin. The questions were designed to get a better understanding of the influences adolescents receive on a daily basis regarding their body and which one is more influential to them in developing and maintaining their eating disorders. The researcher had 14 participants start the survey and 10 completed it. The survey showed that students acknowledged greater pressure across all three environmental contexts as well as reported more eating disorder symptomology. However, the similarities between the perceived pressure and eating disorder symptoms were different for each participant. Most pressure started at home, but as they developed more independence, peers and media became an influence. Implications for future research and prevention programs are discussed.

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