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Title:Recovery and maintenance: How women with eating disorders use Instagram
Author(s):Eikey, Elizabeth V.; Booth, Kayla M.
Subject(s):Eating disorders
Social media
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Anorexia nervosa
Bulimia nervosa
Abstract:Research tends to consider either the positive or negative impact of technologies on eating disorders but rarely considers how technology can be used to aid in recovery as well as exacerbate users’ conditions. Social media is not overtly harmful or helpful within this context, but rather, Instagram, like other spaces, serves as a double-edged sword that can both help recovery and enable pro-eating disorder behaviors. We conducted semi-structured interviews about ICTs and social networking sites with 16 women with eating disorders. Instagram emerged as the most commonly used ICT. We found Instagram can aid in recovery by helping women: (1) learn about the recovery process, (2) track their own recovery, (3) learn about healthy foods and exercises, and (4) reduce stigma, increase awareness, and create a community for social support. Instagram can also (1) be used to maintain eating disorder symptoms and (2) promote comparisons, which can trigger and exacerbate eating disorders. This research has implications for design, healthcare, and education.
Issue Date:2017
Citation Info:Eikey, E. V., & Booth, K. M. (2017). Recovery and Maintenance: How Women with Eating Disorders Use Instagram. In iConference 2017 Proceedings (pp. 227–240).
Series/Report:iConference 2017 Proceedings
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Elizabeth V. Eikey and Kayla M. Booth
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-07-27

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