Background: Recent research has documented the potential associations existing between the use of social media (SM) and the occurrence/development and treatment of Eating Disorders (ED). However, the literature directly addressing the use of SM TikTok among children and adolescents with ED is still scarce. Methods: In January–February 2021, during the second Italian national lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, an anonymous paper survey was conducted in an Italian third-level center for ED in childhood and adolescence. Demographics, frequency of use of TikTok, frequently viewed topics and hashtags, experienced body-shaming, as well as the use of TikTok (active search, use of proposed contents) and perceived influences of this SM on eating attitudes and self-esteem were assessed. Groups of patients with different perceived SM-induced effects were compared to determine the frequency of their interaction with 3 specific contents (diet, Pro-Anorexia Nervosa (pro-Ana) and pro- ED recovery). Results: Seventy-eight patients (93.6% females, mean age 14.5 ± 2.1 years) were enrolled in the study. For 62.8%, TikTok represented the main SM, used for 1.4 ± 1.0 h/day, with diet (21.8%) as the most frequently used topic category. Pro-Ana and pro-ED recovery contents (“#foryou” and “#edrecovery” as the most frequent, respectively) were both actively searched by patients and proposed by the SM in a significant number of cases. For 59.0%, using TikTok reduced self-esteem, while 26.9% reported TikTok-related significant changes in their daily lives, and 3.8% reported experiences of body-shaming. Patients describing a negative effect of TikTok on their self-esteem more frequently searched and browsed “diet” (p = 0.007) and pro-ED recovery (p = 0.007) contents. Positive qualitative feedback on the SM was also reported. Conclusions: This study documents the use of the SM TikTok among children and adolescents with ED. Individuals with a perceived negative effect of this SM on their self-esteem may show greater interaction with specific content. Further studies are needed to investigate the psychopathological factors influencing the relationship between ED and the use of SM.

The use of TikTok among childrenand adolescents with Eating Disorders: experience in a third‑level public Italian center during the SARS‑CoV‑2 pandemic

Jacopo Pruccoli;Marta De Rosa;Lucia Chiasso;Annalisa Perrone;Antonia Parmeggiani
2022

Abstract

Background: Recent research has documented the potential associations existing between the use of social media (SM) and the occurrence/development and treatment of Eating Disorders (ED). However, the literature directly addressing the use of SM TikTok among children and adolescents with ED is still scarce. Methods: In January–February 2021, during the second Italian national lockdown due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, an anonymous paper survey was conducted in an Italian third-level center for ED in childhood and adolescence. Demographics, frequency of use of TikTok, frequently viewed topics and hashtags, experienced body-shaming, as well as the use of TikTok (active search, use of proposed contents) and perceived influences of this SM on eating attitudes and self-esteem were assessed. Groups of patients with different perceived SM-induced effects were compared to determine the frequency of their interaction with 3 specific contents (diet, Pro-Anorexia Nervosa (pro-Ana) and pro- ED recovery). Results: Seventy-eight patients (93.6% females, mean age 14.5 ± 2.1 years) were enrolled in the study. For 62.8%, TikTok represented the main SM, used for 1.4 ± 1.0 h/day, with diet (21.8%) as the most frequently used topic category. Pro-Ana and pro-ED recovery contents (“#foryou” and “#edrecovery” as the most frequent, respectively) were both actively searched by patients and proposed by the SM in a significant number of cases. For 59.0%, using TikTok reduced self-esteem, while 26.9% reported TikTok-related significant changes in their daily lives, and 3.8% reported experiences of body-shaming. Patients describing a negative effect of TikTok on their self-esteem more frequently searched and browsed “diet” (p = 0.007) and pro-ED recovery (p = 0.007) contents. Positive qualitative feedback on the SM was also reported. Conclusions: This study documents the use of the SM TikTok among children and adolescents with ED. Individuals with a perceived negative effect of this SM on their self-esteem may show greater interaction with specific content. Further studies are needed to investigate the psychopathological factors influencing the relationship between ED and the use of SM.
2022
Jacopo Pruccoli, Marta De Rosa, Lucia Chiasso, Annalisa Perrone, Antonia Parmeggiani
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/891665
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