Current research

Children’s Body Image Development Study

Since 2012 the Children's Body Image Development Study (CBIS) has been conducting play-based interviews with young children to understand how body image and related concerns develop. The study aims to find out more about the influences of age, gender, body size and the social environment on the body image of pre-school and primary school children. CBIS is led by Professor Susan Paxton and Professor Eleanor Wertheim, Ms Karen Gregg, Dr Stephanie Damiano. For all enquiries, please contact

Confident Body, Confident Child

In 2016 and 2017 the EMBodIED Research Team is evaluating the Confident Body, Confident Child program, an evidence-based package for parents, including a 2-hour face-to-face parent workshop, printed booklets, a poster, website access and a children’s book that celebrates children’s individuality and diversity. For more information or to participate, please email

Achieving Body Confidence for Young Children

In 2015 the EMBodIED Research Team in collaboration with researchers from the College of Education at Victoria University created the Achieving Body Confidence for Young Children (ABC-4-YC) program. This program is an innovative teacher-led and developmentally appropriate resource that contains classroom and take-home activities aimed at improving body satisfaction and reducing weight stigma and appearance-based teasing. The program is currently being evaluated until 2018. For more information please email

Social media

The EMBoDIED research team has recently turned their attention to understanding the role of social media engagement in body image, disordered eating, and wellbeing. We're investigating if viewing social media images, particularly images that have a high focus on appearance attributes, and engaging with peers about appearance topics on social media, by making comments, or “Liking” posts on platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat, has an effect on body and related concerns.

We aim to understand these relationships in order to develop and test classroom-based programs to prevent body dissatisfaction in the context of social media environments. These projects involve collaborations with our international colleagues in Boston and Bristol, and are also the focus of student research projects. For more information or to participate in any of these studies, please email

Your thoughts on media

The “Your Thoughts on Media!” project aims to gather information about the ways in which students think about media. We are interested in finding out if thinking critically about media is related to lower levels of body dissatisfaction. If you would like to discuss any aspects of the research, please contact Dr Siân McLean at or click here [PDF 60KB] to view contact details of other support services.

How should we talk about eating disorders in the community?

Since 2015, several members of the EMBodiED research team have been working on ways to reduce the stigma of eating disorders in the community, without creating iatrogenic (harmful) effects. In particular, we are interested in reducing stigma without normalising or glamorising eating disorder behaviours. To explore this area of research, we are using a broad range of methods, including expert consensus, meta-analytic review, experimental research, and in vivo interventions. We hope to develop anti-stigma interventions that have both a strong theoretical basis and effectiveness among community groups. This project is ongoing until 2018, please send any enquiries to