Date of Award

5-4-2007

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Hoffner - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Jaye Atkinson

Third Advisor

Dr. Mary Ann Romski

Abstract

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of all mental illnesses. Currently, web-logs are hosts to thousands of pro-ana (short for pro-anorexia) blogring participants, joining together with a common claim that eating disorders are "lifestyles not illnesses." This study explored participation motives among pro-ana blogring participants, relationships to individual psycho-social factors, and to unique web-log features. Results from the cross-sectional online survey suggest three main participation motives among blogring participants (community, obtaining social/ emotional support, and ego-protection). Results also indicate individual factors such as; social support satisfaction, drive-for-thinness, and BMI were related to blogger motives in a various diverse ways. Analyses of the findings from the present study reflect the self-disclosive nature of the blogging process. The results have several implications for eating disorder, computer-mediated communication, internet social support, and blog/blogring research.

Included in

Communication Commons

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