An investigation of adolescent girls’ critical media health literacy in a body-positive program
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This Master’s thesis describes a research study that examines media artifacts created by 26 adolescent girls participating in a four-week body-positive program. Employing a qualitative case study method, this study explores how girls respond to a program which promotes health, body image, self-esteem, physical activity, and critical awareness. Research questions explore girls’ understandings and potential responses to critical health media discussions. The participants deconstructed and reconstructed digital media. Data include interviews about creating the digital artifacts and analysis of the artifacts using a critical health media literacy framework developed for this study. Findings indicate that most artifacts were “approaching critical health media literacy” showing that girls recognize how media commodify health and this requires awareness and social action responses. The participants’ discourse revealed similar findings. More research is needed in this area in order to measure the resilience and empowerment outcomes from critical health media literacy programs for adolescents.