THINLINE project – The thin line between disorder and a healthy lifestyle: Investigating the online behavior of today’s youth

Project Period: 2015 – 2018
Investor: Czech Science Foundation
Project Type: Standard Project

Pro-ana (promoting anorexia nervosa) and pro-mia (promoting bulimia nervosa) online communities, websites, and apps are becoming a public health concern, as young people use the Internet and other ICTs for body change strategies. An understanding of this possibly risky online behavior is being increasingly needed. The proposed project studies health-related online behavior and ICT use among young people (aged 13-28), with a focus on weight control, body image, and eating disorders.

The study will be based mainly on qualitative interviews with young people with eating disorders and their professional caregivers, and a quantitative study based on online survey data from at least 1000 respondents. The study aims to map the online behavior and ICT use of young people suffering from eating disorder to assess professional care providers’ knowledge of and reflections on the online behavior and ICT use of their clients/patients, and to map the differences between youth at risk for an eating disorder and those who instead enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Researchers: Hana Macháčková, Martina Šmahelová, David Šmahel, Carlos A. Almenara, Steriani Elvasky, Jana Holubčíková, Lenka Dedkova, Natália Valkovičová, Eliška Nehybková

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