chapter  6
Research considerations when investigating psychological factors and health-related issues in online contexts
ByMatthew Hall, Sarah Grogan
Pages 14

This chapter, after reviewing work linking body image with social media and drug use, discusses on recent research investigating discussions about using ephedrine and synthol in relation to sporting performance, health and body image. It discusses some of the theoretical, methodological and ethical considerations involved in undertaking online research, and provides readers with practical advice on venturing into this type of investigation. In recent years, there has been an increase in interest in psychological factors related to body image and embodiment. Analysing discussion threads can help the authors to understand how people explain their behaviour, including their use of drugs designed to enhance or change the appearance of their bodies. Ethnomethodological enquiry seeks to understand how people collectively construct meaning from their experiences of social phenomena. One of the more popular modes of online interaction is the internet forum – an electronic bulletin board where members begin threads for discussion, building bonds and reaching other interested parties.