Preferred Name

Cheri L. Greenfield

Date of Award

Fall 2014

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Jack Presbury

Deborah Sturm

Abstract

The treatment of eating disorders involves a complex approach. In recent years, a number of websites have developed in an attempt to meet the needs of individuals struggling with this set of disorders. Some of these websites are nationally recognized organizations dedicated to improve treatment and provide educational resources, while other websites have been authored by individuals with eating disorders in an attempt to create a safe community of support. This project explores various components found in online communities, examines characteristics of eating disorders, and evaluates the worth of such resources, even when in perceived contrast with traditional treatment. Rather than work against one another, this study looks at ways in which varying approaches to treatment might co-exist in a complementary manner, to provide a more comprehensive set of resources for clients with eating disorders.