CYBERBULLYING ON FACEBOOK: HOW DOES IT INFLUENCE THE RISK FOR EATING DISORDERS?
Harrison, Keisha Rose
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Social media sites, like Facebook, merge two components that influence the risk for eating disorders: media and peer evaluations. To date, a limited number of studies have examined the relationship between Facebook activity and eating disorder behavior and attitudes; and even fewer studies have examined the influence of cyberbullying on eating pathology. This study sought to elaborate upon the associations between cyberbullying, Facebook activity, and disordered eating attitudes and behavior. College-age women, 18-26 years old, were asked to complete an online self-report questionnaire in approximately 20 minutes. The questionnaire consisted of items from the Cyberbullying Scale, EAT-26, and Facebook Activity scale. After confirming the validity and reliability of the Cyberbullying and Facebook Activity scales, hierarchical regression models were used to evaluate the moderation effect of cyberbullying on Facebook use and eating attitudes and behaviors. Results indicated that social and verbal cyberbullying strengthened the relationship between general Facebook activity and eating attitudes and behavior (including bulimia & food preoccupation and dieting) at lower levels (1-SD below mean) of Facebook activity.