Psychological explanations for Bulimia Nervosa

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  • Psychological explanations for Bulimia Nervosa
    • Cooper's cognitive model
      • Exposure to media and dieting represent thin as being good and fat as being bad
      • Believe that loosing weight will make people like them
      • Maintenance through a vicious circle eg. binge eating -> feel better -> feel fat -> purge -> binge
      • Leung - lack of parental bonding lead to a dysfunctional set of core beliefs among Bulimics
      • It is a cognitive theory but CBT can't always be used to treat Bulimia, Fairburn carried out a follow-up study of those who recieved CBT, only 5o% were symptom free and 37% stil met the disgnostic criteria for an eating disorder
    • The functional model (Polivy)
      • Binge-eating is a way of coping with identity problems
        • Distress can be attributed to overeating rather than the more serious underlying problems
      • Wheeler - negative self-image and a desire to escape from difficult life issues predicted the onset of BN to grasp a feeling of control
      • Polivy - stress-induced dieters consumered larger amounts of food regardless o its palatability which implies that the purpose of binge-eating is to relieve idientity-related stress
      • BN can be linked to a diffuse-avoidant identity style which can lead to self harm, depression ect. targeting symptoms early could avoid this
    • Relationship processes
      • Boskind-Lodahl - Cinderellas step sisters tried to change their apperanace to be seen as attractive (anxious attachment)
        • Desire for closeness and blame themselves for rejection
          • Loose weight to avoid rejection
        • causation cant be estalished by a corrolational study
      • Symptoms of BN overlap with other disorders eg depression and general psycopathy
      • Cash - women who experienced body dissatisfaction were ore likely to express less confidence in their ability as a sexual partner


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