This paper outlines the purpose for a research study, a review of the literature, and a theoretical framework to examine key health risks for Canadian adolescents and how interventions can mediate risk. The combining of critical media literacy with health literacy fills an important gap in the literature regarding health prevention programs. The authors define health, resisting simplistic definitions and employing holistic, complex definitions. They examine risk factors for adolescent health and illustrate how risk is influenced by broader social, political, and economic structures. The current health focus on individuals to change their bodies to achieve a mediated, ideal appearance has harmful health consequences. Some protective factors have been identified that can build resilience and help adolescents to resist potentially harmful media messages. A critical health media literacy (CHML) framework that combines critical media literacy theory and a framework of health literacy is presented. Further research is needed to consider critical media literacy and its health implications through critical health media analysis, critique, deconstruction, and re-construction.

Published in: Canada International Conference on Education, 2018

  • Date of Conference: 25-28 June, 2018
  • DOI: 10.2053/CICE.2018.0107
  • Electronic ISBN: 978-1-908320-90-2
  • Conference Location: University of Toronto Mississauga, Canada