Instagram (IG) is a social media application that allows users to upload personal images in a public forum by including a searchable link (e.g. hashtag) along with a posted image. An IG community devoted to a pro-recovery (i.e., #anarecovery) perspective on eating disorders (EDs) stands alongside the pro-ana lifestyle IG community (i.e., #ana). Research has yet to examine the nature of visual representations associated with pro-ana and pro-recovery social media imagery and moreover, not much empirical attention has been given to the nature of this content on IG. Thus, the first aim of this qualitative content analysis was to examine how the underlying theoretical constructs of objectified body consciousness (OBC) and positive body image (PBI) were represented among #ana and #anarecovery content. A second aim was to compare the frequency of the themes present for #ana versus #anarecovery images. A coding guide was developed and high levels of interrater reliability were established for the primary codes (kappa ≥ .80). One hundred and fifty IG images each from #ana and #anarecovery were systematically coded. Within- and between-hashtag comparisons of images were performed using frequency counts and chi-square analyses. Within #ana images, the theme of body shame (62.7%) was more frequently depicted relative to body surveillance (22%) and appearance control (22%) themes. Within #anarecovery images, the theme of body protection was most prevalent (67.3%) followed by body functionality (38.7%) and body acceptance (11.3%) themes. All three OBC themes were more likely to be present in #ana images. Conversely, PBI themes of body protection and body functionality were more frequently represented in the #anarecovery images. The frequency of body acceptance themes did not differentiate the images sampled from both hashtags. This research calls for more expanded and distinguished definitions of the constructs that comprise the continuum of PBI. Findings also suggest how the lack of distinction in the frequency of body acceptance observed between the two hashtags may be clinically relevant for exploring potential risk factors that persist in the process of ED recovery.
|Advisor:||Webb, Jennifer B.|
|Commitee:||Cachelin, Fary, Warren-Findlow, Jan|
|School:||The University of North Carolina at Charlotte|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Public health, Clinical psychology|
|Keywords:||Eating disorders, Instagram, Objectified body consciousness, Positive body image, Pro-anorexia|
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