Exploring digital fiction as a tool for teenage body image bibliotherapy

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  • Astrid Ensslin
    University of Alberta
  • Rebecca Skains
  • Sarah Riley
    Aberystwyth University
  • Joan Haran
    Center for the Study of Women in Society
  • Alison Mackiewicz
    Aberystwyth University
  • Emma Halliwell
    University of West of England
This article reflects on the findings of the interdisciplinary ‘TransForm’ project,
which ran between 2012 and 2014 and aimed to explore how reading and
writing digital fictions (DFs) might support young women in developing
frameworks for more positive thinking regarding their body image. The
project comprised the following stages: (1) a review and compilation of DFs
thematising and/or problematising female corporeality; (2) a series of
cooperative inquiries with 3 groups of young women (aged 16–19 years)
over a period of 5 weeks, examining participants’ responses to a selection of
the previously compiled DFs, as well as the challenges these young women
face in relation to body image and (3) an interventionist summer school in
which participants aged 16–19 explored body image issues via writing DFs.
This article reports on the main observations and findings of each stage, and
draws conclusions for future research needs in this area.


  • Digital fiction, cooperative inquiry, expressive writing, bibliotherapy, body image
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-195
JournalDigital Creativity
Issue number3
Early online date9 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016

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