Original Paper

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 379-391

Internet-Delivered Targeted Group Intervention for Body Dissatisfaction and Disordered Eating in Adolescent Girls: A randomized controlled trial

  • Brooke E. HeinickeAffiliated withSchool of Psychological Science, La Trobe University
  • , Susan J. PaxtonAffiliated withSchool of Psychological Science, La Trobe University Email author 
  • , Siân A. McLeanAffiliated withSchool of Psychological Science, La Trobe University
  • , Eleanor H. WertheimAffiliated withSchool of Psychological Science, La Trobe University

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Abstract

This study evaluated a targeted intervention designed to alleviate body image and eating problems in adolescent girls that was delivered over the internet so as to increase access to the program. The program consisted of six, 90-minute weekly small group, synchronous on-line sessions and was facilitated by a therapist and manual. Participants were 73 girls (mean age=14.4 years, SD=1.48) who self-identified as having body image or eating problems and were randomly assigned to an intervention group (n=36) (assessed at baseline, post-intervention and at 2- and 6-months follow-up) or a delayed treatment control group (n=37) (assessed at baseline and 6–7 weeks later). Clinically significant improvements in body dissatisfaction, disordered eating, and depression were observed at post-intervention and maintained at follow-up. Internet delivery was enthusiastically endorsed. The program offers a promising approach to improve body image and eating problems that also addresses geographic access problems.

Keywords

Internet Targeted intervention Body dissatisfaction Disordered eating Adolescent girls