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The aim of this study was to replicate and extend results of a previous trial that investigated the effectiveness of two peer-led eating disorders prevention interventions on reducing eating disorder risk factors in undergraduate women (Becker, Smith & Ciao, 2006). In order to extend findings from the previous study by allowing for investigation of differential response, we randomly assigned a larger sample of both higher- and lower-risk sorority members (N = 188; age M = 18.64, range = 18-21; 20% minority) to either a cognitive dissonance (CD) or a media advocacy (MA) intervention under naturalistic conditions. Interventions were delivered by trained sorority peer-leaders and consisted of two 2-hour group sessions. Participants completed questionnaires assessing eating disorder risk factors at pre-treatment, post-treatment, 7-week follow-up, and 8-month follow-up. Results indicate that both interventions reduced thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint, and bulimic pathology at 8-months, although higher- and lower-risk participants responded somewhat differently. Both CD and MA generally appeared effective for higher-risk participants; only CD, however, appeared to benefit lower-risk participants. Results further support the viability of using peer-leaders in dissonance-based prevention.




American Psychological Association

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Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

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Psychology Commons