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Fam Syst Health. 2015 Dec;33(4):390-4. doi: 10.1037/fsh0000153. Epub 2015 Aug 3.

Mothers' use of blogs while engaged in family-based treatment for a child's eating disorder.

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Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph.



We explore parents' use of blogs while engaged in family-based treatment (FBT), a form of treatment in which parents engage as the primary givers of care for a child's eating disorder. We sought to bring together emergent literature on the value of blogging for social support with a body of literature on caregiving for a child with an eating disorder and to understand how parents use blogs while engaged in FBT.


We conducted a thematic analysis of 138 blog entries written by 5 mothers.


Two main themes emerged: the importance of support and shifts in parenting. Blogs detailed how parents actively seek to meet their needs during a difficult time using online interactions to bolster sources of support that exist offline. This intensive form of treatment also provoked shifts in parenting, which parents described on their blogs. Parents' blogs were rich with descriptions of their use of mutually reinforcing on- and offline support.


The unique context of the blogs allowed for access to data that were not generated for the purpose of research. Results add to the growing body of literature about parents' caregiving experiences and use of blogs for social support, and they offer implications for using online spaces as adjunct support for families. (PsycINFO Database Record

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