Psychological Explanations for Anorexia Nervosa

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  • Created by: Abw97
  • Created on: 12-10-15 17:24
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  • Psychological Explanations For Anorexia Nervosa
    • Cultural Ideals
      • Western standards of attractiveness are an important factor to the development of AN. Belief that AN is rare in non- western societies.
        • Research has shown that teenagers, especially girls, are dissatisfied with their weight and body image.
          • Gregory et al = 16% of girls aged 15-18 in the UK were on a diet.
            • Hoek et al = study in a non-westernised hospital where it was acceptable to be overweight. Found 6 cases of AN - rate claimed to be within the range of rate in a western culture.
              • Research has shown that teenagers, especially girls, are dissatisfied with their weight and body image.
                • Gregory et al = 16% of girls aged 15-18 in the UK were on a diet.
                  • Hoek et al = study in a non-westernised hospital where it was acceptable to be overweight. Found 6 cases of AN - rate claimed to be within the range of rate in a western culture.
      • Media Influence
        • Major source of influence for body image attitudes maintained in western societies.
          • e.g Portrayal of thin models on TV and in magazines gives drive for thinness in adolescent girls in a western society.
            • Jones and Buckingham = Media doesn't influence everyone in the same way. Those with low self esteem are more likely to compare themselves to images in the media.
              • Becker et al = Fijian girls had a desire to lose weight after watching TV to look like western characters.
      • Ethnicity
        • The incidence of An in non-western cultures and black populations in western cultures is much lower than white western populations.
          • Grabe & Hyde = found a difference between African american, Hispanic and Caucasian females. = African American were dissatisfied more with their body than other groups.
            • Cachelin and Regan = No difference in in eating disorder cases between American and white Caucasion populations
            • Roberts = The view that An is more popular in white populations than black only appears to be true in adolescents
      • Peer Influence
        • Peer influence is important in adolescents, so adolescents may be particularly important in influencing eating disorders.
          • Eisenberg = US study found dieting among friends was related to unhealthy weight control behaviours such as using dieting pills.
            • Jones and Crawford = girls who are overweight and boys who are underweight were more likely to be teased, suggesting that through teasing, peers enforce gender based ideals.
              • Shroff + Thompson found no correlation between peer influence and AN in adolescents.
      • Bruch's psychodynamic theory
        • Origins of AN are in early childhood.
          • Effective parenting = responding appropriately to child's needs. e.g. feeding when hungry.
            • Child will desire autonomy, but feel they aren't in control of their own body. = abnormal eating habits.
              • Ineffective parenting = responding inappropriately to child's needs. e.g. putting them to bed when hungry.
              • Steiner et al = Parents of children with AN define the physical needs of their children rather than let them decide themselves.
                • Bruch = Parents claimed to anticipate needs rather than ever letting them feel hungry for themselves.
          • Ineffective parenting = responding inappropriately to child's needs. e.g. putting them to bed when hungry.
      • Personality
        • Perfectionism - found in individuals with AN.
          • Strober et al = retrospectively evaluated personality traits in teenage boys and girls receiving treatment for AN. Found that 73% G perfectionism and 50% B.
            • Nilsson - longitudinal study = showed importance of perfectionism in the duration of AN. Short duration = lower perfectionism Vise versa.
        • Impulsiveness - People with AN act more impulsively than they self report.
          • Butler and Montgomery = found that compared to normal group those with AN responded quickly to a performance task, but poorly indicating behavioural impulsiveness.
      • IDA
        • Reductionist - doesnt give biological explanations such as serotonin/ dopamine levels.
        • Ethical issues in research - most research collected was from internet communities. so crosses ethical issues of privacy, informed consent and confidentiality.

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