A systematic review: An exploration of media influences on adolescents: a risk factor for developing anorexia?
Adam, Gemma Louise
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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This research study is considering the question, A systematic review: An exploration of media influences on adolescents: a risk factor for developing anorexia? As suggested by the title the research was carried out by systematic review of available, public literature that has been peer reviewed. Mixed method studies, qualitative and quantitative, were considered to provide varied representations of the information and literature. After thorough analysis of eight papers via the CASP appraisal tool, enabled selection of the papers. Seven themes of body dissatisfaction, online risks and unrealistic portrayal, self-objectification, body size and western society, body dissatisfaction in an international context, sociocultural forces and positive and negative influences of media were explored. Findings have shown that the negative factors of the themes, outweigh the positives and online and offline risks are enabled by the manipulation of media against adolescents, as most representation of role models are potentially digitally enhanced and thus unrealistic. There is larger consequences on adolescents in Western culture by pressures from media such as psychological issues such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem due to comparing body ideals leading to even greater consequences such as Anorexia Nervosa (AN). Gaps for further investigation include research with adolescents with active AN and more studies conducted in qualitative methods as well as that education on protecting themselves from online and offline risks is needed to protect their well-being. The iii | P a g e xxxxx A systematic review: An exploration of media influences on adolescents: a risk factor for developing anorexia? Ethics Reference Number: xxxxx emphasis found in this paper was that regulations and education on unrealistic bodies to limit and protect the unnecessary exposure to adolescents. There is also potential indications that these types of studies may need to take place with younger children as they are also at risk from media influences and negative portrayal. Some positives were identified, such as support online from adolescents with the same experiences and social media enables them to stay connected with family and friends as well as a good use for their education. Recognised limitations in this study were identified as lack of professional and research experience and the timescale involved to compile such an array of information.
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
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