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Jessica Baratta (author)
Emily Carr University of Art and Design Graduate studies (Degree granting institution)
Healthy heroes : promoting healthy behaviour change for weight-related body issues in Canadian families
Canadian familiesParent-child relationshipEarly childhoodBody dissatisfactionBody imageWeightHealthyTransformative designBehaviour changeSuperheroesSuperpowersParasocial experienceResilienceCo-creationCultural probeAffinity diagramming
The pursuit for an idealistic body permeates contemporary culture, with research drawing connections to body image dissatisfaction and its emergence in children as young as age 5 (Lowes & Tiggemann, 2003). This Master of Design thesis project focuses on the impact of the parent-child relationship and its importance in the healthy development of a child’s self-image.
The scope of the work addresses Canadian parents with a child between the ages of 4-6, emphasizing the influence of their role in promoting positive body awareness during early childhood. this project considers how design may affect the knowledge, perspectives and behaviours of young Canadian families who are struggling with body dissatisfaction. a review of precedent literature triangulates the inquiry within the partnering fields of health and social sciences. Various participatory design methods were introduced in a human-centered approach, collaborating with parents to address the gaps in contemporary parenting resources.
A synthesis of primary and secondary research resulted in the designed outcome of “healthy heroes”; a behaviour change system that supports Canadian families in communicating and engaging in positive health behaviours. The system is made up of tools centered around the narrative of the healthy heroes superhero team; a set of four children who use their natural, intrinsic traits as superpowers within everyday life. The tools encourage healthy behaviours through shared parent-child experiences, providing children with the education and agency to develop lifelong resiliency skills in an entertaining way.
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