Research Proposal

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What influence, if any, does the media in female teen magazines such as ‘Dolly’ and ‘Girlfriend’, have on young females within the age group 14-16, and the increase of the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa within this age group?

This research proposal will be addressing the issues surrounding the controversial link between the media and the increase of eating disorders within the female age group of 14-16 years. It will also briefly discuss the process of finding the right questions and hypothesis as well as my methods and purpose of research.

Research over the years has shown that eating disorders are becoming increasingly common in today’s society (The World Today, 2007). This research project was to explore whether the pressure of the media, particularly in teen magazines, effects the social norms of a female adolescent within the age group 14-16 years, and the links between these social pressures and its effects on the increase of eating disorders in this age group.

When I began researching for this assessment, the only idea I had was surrounding the topic of eating disorders. My first question was “Are eating disorders becoming more common in the earlier years of young adolescents?” however; this topic was much too broad, and my research would only lead me to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. After more research I eventually narrowed my topic down to a more specific aspect of the current question. I asked myself why eating disorders were on the increase and my first instinct was the media. Therefore I came up with the question “Does the media have an effect on young adolescents aged between 12-21, and the increase of eating disorders?” However, this question was still a ‘yes/no’ question, and everything about it was still much too broad and too hard to answer.

After much deliberation, I decided that I needed to concentrate on a particular form of media, and I needed to narrow down the age group of participants. This led me to use...
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