REbeL Research Update

Written by Lauren Breithaupt, REbeL Research Coordinator

A few weeks ago, REbeL had the chance to present at the 20th annual meeting of the Eating Disorder Research Society (EDRS) in San Diego, CA. EDRS is an annual meeting where eating disorder researchers from around the world meet to exchange ideas and provide updates on the latest research and advancements in the fields of feeding and eating disorders.

REbeL shared our unique model of prevention, as well as results from our pilot and year one study. The REbeL model of prevention aims to create seamless integration within a school setting. Therefore, as many of you may know, our REbeL peer educators self-apply to the program which is led by our volunteer school sponsors. REbeL utilizes a cognitive dissonance model, which means that we encourage our members to challenge the norm of dieting, the unrealistic standards of beauty in our society, and size discrimination. In turn, we hope that our members internalize a new set of “REbeLlious” standards. And good news! The results from the study indicate that we are moving in the direction we dream of–a world in which we are re-defining the definition of health and beauty for every body.

Students who participated in REbeL valued the thin-ideal body type less than they did when they first joined; and they also felt more positive about their bodies after just one year of the program. In addition, individuals in REbeL feel empowered; they believe they can, and are, creating positive change as a group with in their schools. We also found that these feelings of empowerment are fueling the changes we see in how members feel about their bodies. Individuals who feel the biggest shift in their ability to affect positive change, feel best about their bodies. We, at REbeL, our thrilled about these results, as our program aims to increase empowerment through its student-driven structure.

We were excited to share these results at EDRS and are even more excited to continue to share our results from our research at REbeL in the near future!

Breithaupt, L., Eickman, L., & Fischer. S. (Oct. 10, 2014) REbeL, Inc.: Preliminary Results from Two Years of Continuous In school, Peer-Led Dissonance Based Eating Disorder Prevention Programs for High School Students. October 9-11, 2014. San Diego, CA.