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October 12 2014 13:34
12 October 2014
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1. "I love my bones!"1 - self-harm and dangerous eating youth behaviours in Portuguese written blogs........ 1
12 October 2014
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"I love my bones!"1 - self-harm and dangerous eating youth behaviours in Portuguese written blogs Author: Castro, Teresa Sofia; Osório, António José
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Abstract: Purpose - Family, media and peer pressure seem to influence adolescent development activating the perception and internalisation of thin ideals that may trigger dieting, bingeing and other self-harming disorders. The proliferation of problematic online content consumed and produced by young people, such as in the case of pro-anorexic web sites, seem to worry not only parents but also young people. The aim of this work is to analyse content produced by a group of Portuguese speaking pro-anorexic adolescents in order to better understand how social and cultural pressures may influence their disruptive behaviours and how they seem to cope with them. Design/methodology/approach - A qualitative exploratory content analysis examined 11 Portuguese-speaking blogs written by teenagers (boys and girls) between 13 and 19 years old who use these environments to validate their pro-anorexic lifestyle, share body and image issues or search for diets and support from like-minded others. Findings - Blogs content analysis suggest that peer pressure, need for acceptance, and conflicts with parents denote the power of subliminal messages, revealing that, even at very young ages, stereotypical messages may be easily understood and internalised. The authors organised the collected evidence into three categories: common shared content found in the pro-anorexic blogs; celebrities and fashion models that young people worship as thinspiration; how youth deal with parental, peer and social and cultural pressures. Research limitations/implications - Although this is a very small group of blogs, this work offers a research contribution about pro-anorexic dangerous content consumed, produced and disseminated online by Portuguese speaking young people. This exploratory study is a starting point for further research. This is a field the authors intend to explore deeply using more child centred and participative research techniques in order to fully understand the issues at stake and to get the actual young people's point of view and experiences. Originality/value - Provisional findings trigger the authors' concern and scientific interest in learning more about pro-anorexic and other self-harming disruptive online content produced and consumed by young people. With this study they aim to help to raise awareness among parents, caregivers and teachers about problematic eating and self-harming contents as they may affect adolescent development and well-being. Links: Linking Service, Linking Service, Linking Service
Full text: Introduction
The need to conduct this exploratory study arose during a literature review about specific risky contents easily available on the internet, as is the case of disrupting and self-harming pro-anorexia material. The emergency of online socialising environments coupled with the increasingly active participation of young people on the internet provides complex venues that challenge and worry society in general, parents, caregivers, educators and scientists.
Therefore, the aim of this work is to analyse contents produced by a group of Portuguese speaking pro-anorexic adolescents in order to better understand how social and cultural pressures may influence their disruptive behaviours and how they seem to cope with them .
To this end, first we present a brief theoretical...
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