Combining universal and targeted prevention for school-based eating disorder programs




This study examined a step toward providing a universal prevention program to all students while targeting those at risk.


Seventy-eight 10th-grade female students were provided an on-line eating disorder prevention program and randomized to participate in (1) a higher risk and higher motivated group, (2) a lower risk or lower motivated group, or (3) a combined group.


The students in the first group made significantly fewer negative and more positive comments in the on-line group discussion than the higher risk and higher motivated participants in the combined group. However, there were no differences among groups on outcome measures.


The results suggest that, because it is relatively easy to provide interventions with separate groups, it seems appropriate to do so, if for no other reason than to minimize the few very negative comments that were posted by students that might have created an adverse environment for the higher risk-participants that the intervention specifically targets. © 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 35: 1–9, 2004.