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ERIC Number: ED514929
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 225
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1097-1224-7
The Experience of Bulimic College Students Who Use "Pro-Ana/Pro-Mia" Web Sites: A Two-Phase Mixed-Method Study
Davis, Blair J.
ProQuest LLC, Psy.D. Dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies
Eating disorders (EDs) are a serious problem in the U.S. due to their rise in prevalence during the 20th century and high morbidity and mortality rates. A relatively new, controversial phenomenon, "pro-Ana" (pro-anorexia) and "pro-Mia" (pro-bulimia) Web sites, came to the public's attention around 2000. These sites are created by and for people with EDs and disordered eating to get support and information. Many believe the sites influence vulnerable users to develop and maintain EDs. Research is still in the early stages. In this document, the existing literature was reviewed, areas requiring further study were highlighted, and a two-phase mixed-method study examining the subjective experience of bulimic college students who use these Web sites was described. Methods included online participant-expert interviews and a survey of students who use or have used the sites. The study's purpose was to explore the needs, motivations, experiences, and feelings of pro-Ana/pro-Mia site users, with the aims of better understanding and giving them a voice and proposing more appealing, effective online tools to prevent and treat EDs and disordered eating. The researcher found similarities between the experiences of bulimic students and other ED populations who use pro-Ana/pro-Mia sites. Most participants had mixed feelings about the sites and refused to label themselves as "Ana" or "Mia." Participants sought the sites mainly to get diet and exercise tips and out of curiosity. Users reported liking the "thinspiration" pictures (images meant to inspire weight loss) and sense of community, support, and understanding offered by the sites. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A