Impacts of Societal Body Standards: A Study on the Interplay Between Social Media, Eating Disorders, and Depression in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes

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Authors
Bjornson, Anika
Advisor
Dolan, Jamie
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Date of Issue
2024
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Title
Impacts of Societal Body Standards: A Study on the Interplay Between Social Media, Eating Disorders, and Depression in Adolescents with Type 1 Diabetes
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Abstract
Hundreds of new social media platforms have launched reaching record highs of active followers, since social media's first breakthrough in 2004 when MySpace reached one million active users (Our World in Data, 2024). With the influence of social media, adolescents are at a greater risk for developing dysregulated eating habits and comorbidities, such as depression, than any other generation (Bor et al., 2014; Chung et al. 2021). However, adolescents diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) are exposed to more risk factors, leading to double the prevalence of mental health disparities, compared to healthy peers (Hood et al. 2006; Polonsky & Fortmann 2020; Ripoli et al. 2022; Whittemore et al. 2002). Research on contemporary concerns has revealed that increased use of social media is associated with poorer sleep quality, diminished self-worth, feelings of loneliness, and unrealistic comparison of body standards in youth (Alonzo et al. 2019; Gupta & Sharma 2021; Lee et al. 2023; Oberst et al. 2016; Weinstein 2017). The broad consensus in coexisting literature has shown poor body image in T1D adolescents is negatively influenced by variables like body weight and engagement in social media involvement (Verbist & Condon 2019). The purpose of this study is to examine how societal expectations through social media contribute to the development of eating disorders and depression in T1D adolescents. Erving Goffman's framing theory is used to identify which frames are employed amongst popular social media posts, enabling the identification of which sociological frameworks are being manipulated. This study aims to determine if modern dilemmas are an additional risk factor for T1D adolescents’ mental health.
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Sociology