LEARN TO LISTEN: ASSESSING THE EFFICACY OF AN EATING DISORDER COMMUNICATION INTERVENTION AMONG ADOLESCENTS
Listening (Janusik, 2002; Miller, 2018; Wolvin & Coakley, 1996) and eating disorders (EDs; National Centre for Eating Disorders (NCFED), 2018) are often not taught within schools, especially among adolescents. To address this, a school-based brief motivational interviewing (MI) intervention on listening when talking about EDs was created, implemented, and evaluated among adolescents (n = 260) from two middle schools within the Midwestern part of the United States. Specifically, School 1 (n = 100), and School 2 (n = 160) and three teachers (i.e., Teacher 1, Teacher 2, Teacher 3) allowed the researcher to present and collect data. In other words, three total teachers between the two schools, and one teacher, Teacher 1 (n = 100), was from School 1, and the other two teachers, Teacher 2 (n = 120) and Teacher 3 (n = 40) were from School 2. Participants were randomly placed into either the 1) the EDs listening intervention (education-plus) with an MI component (n = 6 classes) or 2) an education-plus Q&A intervention (n = 7 classes). All the participants were involved in the guest lecture and the pre-test and post-test survey, but data was only saved and analyzed from participants that had guardians/parents who consented (n = 75). The methodology for this dissertation project was a 2 (pre/post, unmatched) X 2 (condition) subject’s design. This dissertation project had two independent variables: (1) experimental condition (e.g., education plus MI and education plus Q&A), and (2) time (e.g., pre and post). This dissertation project had five dependent variables: (1) knowledge of listening, (2) knowledge of EDs, (3) listening self-efficacy, (4) knowledge of OARS, and (5) knowledge of the righting reflex. This dissertation project also had the random factor of schools (e.g., School 1 (A) and School 2 (B), and the fixed factor of gender identity (e.g., male and female). The results revealed a promise of efficacy and increased knowledge regarding EDs and aspects of listening, specifically through MI (e.g., OARS). Other areas of knowledge improved but not significantly. In other words, there were no significant differences in knowledge gains between MI and Q&A, but MI compared to Q&A showed a more extensive influence on self-efficacy. The main limitation of this study was the limited guardian/parental consent, resulting in a small sample size.