Media literacy curricula have been used with relative levels of success for eating disorder prevention (Fuller et al., 2004; Irving & Berel, 2001; O’Dea & Abraham, 2000; Richardson & Paxon, 2010; Wade et al., 2003; Watson & Vaughn, 2006; Wilksch & Wade, 2009). Taking into consideration that in recent years eating disorder research funding has stagnated (Bell, 2015) and the incidence of eating disorders has not diminished (Daw, 2001), it seems logical to translate the success of media literacy prevention curricula into eating disorder treatment programs.
This paper explores the perceived valued and enjoyment of a critical media literacy curriculum that was implemented with adolescents in treatment for eating disorders. The critical media literacy curriculum utilizes a three-pronged approach that focuses on education (the development of media literacy skills), recognition (reflection on how media ideologies may affect an individual and his or her eating disorder), and activism (the practice of linking the personal and political through engaged citizenship). Qualitative survey results suggest that participants in the curriculum valued and enjoyed their critical media literacy experience. More specifically, through analysis of open-ended survey responses, this paper explores how a critical media literacy intervention can help develop a greater understanding of critical viewing, media influence, media economics, self-recognition, and media activism for adolescents with eating disorders as well as foster conversation and a sense of community among those in treatment. Thus, this research may represent a new era for critical media literacy that challenges existing eating disorder treatment paradigms, especially for adolescents.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/lori_bindig/15/