Boosting positive body image in young people

"As a health professional/researcher I hope to contribute new knowledge about issues affecting young people. Notre Dame's extensive curriculum enabled me to discover this passion, challenging my knowledge and encouraging critical thinking about prevalent health issues in our society," says Notre Dame PhD candidate, Carmen.

Carmen's future goals and aspirations were established during her undergraduate studies at Notre Dame, completing her Bachelor of Health & Physical Education (Secondary) with Honours in 2015.

Through industry experience, Carmen was able to make a number of professional contacts who inspired her to achieve a high standard of results.

Notre Dame has enabled me to achieve well beyond my own expectations, and I attribute this fully to the unique one-on-one support I have received throughout my post-graduate experience.

"Notre Dame has enabled me to achieve well beyond my own expectations, and I attribute this fully to the unique one-on-one support I have received throughout my post-graduate experience," Carmen said. "I am constantly amazed by the level of compassion, guidance and encouragement I receive from all staff and my mentors in particular. I have not only been inspired to achieve a high standard of success at Notre Dame, but I have also been supported through a number of adversities along the way. My primary supervisor encouraged my passion for research, empowered me to pursue my aspirations and provided many professional experiences to aid my development."

Through her research, Carmen hopes to provide information for schools and policy makers in order to educate and provide health promotion messages to students in primary and secondary school.

"I am extremely passionate about the wellbeing of adolescents and young adults as I believe that there are increasing pressures and expectations facing the younger generations, particularly in the areas of social media, mental health and body image," Carmen said.

Carmen is undertaking the first qualitative research completed into Instagram and the effects on young women aged between 18 and 25. "Instagram isn't making us feel good about life. It has become a scary measure of self-worth and popularity."

Find out more about Notre Dame's research degree Dr of Philosophy (Health Sciences).

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