Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family

Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk University

The thin line between disorder and a healthy lifestyle:
Investigating the online behavior of today’s youth (THINLINE)

Pro-ana (promoting anorexia nervosa) and pro-mia (promoting bulimia nervosa) online communities, websites, and apps are becoming a public health concern, as young people use the Internet and other ICTs for body change strategies. An understanding of this possibly risky online behavior is being increasingly needed. The proposed project studies health-related online behavior and ICT use among young people (aged 13-28), with a focus on weight control, body image, and eating disorders.

The study will be based mainly on qualitative interviews with young people with eating disorders and their professional caregivers, and a quantitative study based on online survey data from at least 1000 respondents. The study aims to map the online behavior and ICT use of young people suffering from eating disorder to assess professional care providers’ knowledge of and reflections on the online behavior and ICT use of their clients/patients, and to map the differences between youth at risk for an eating disorder and those who instead enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Research goals:

  1. to map online behavior and ICT use of young people with an eating disorder;
  2. to assess professional care providers’ knowledge of the online behavior and ICT use of their clients/patients;
  3. to assess the differences between youth at risk and those who instead enjoy a healthy lifestyle.


Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family © 2012 | Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family
Faculty of Social Studies at Masaryk university
Joštova 10, 602 00 Brno
simkova@fss.muni.cz | +420 549 498 272