Psychological explanations of AN

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  • Psychological Explanations of Anorexia
    • A01
      • We can explain AN through socio-cultural factors.
        • Cultural ideals is a part of socio-cultural explanations.Western standards of attractiveness are an important factor in the development of AN.
          • Studies have reported many teens, especially girls are dissatisfied with their body and have a distorted view on their body image.
          • The national diet and nutrition of young people found 16% of 1518 year old were on a 'diet'
        • Media influences can be used to explain AN because portrayal of thin models on TV and magazines are a significant factor in body image concerns and drive for thinness among western adolescent girls.
          • However, the media doesn't influence everyone in the same way, individuals with low self-esteem are more likely to compare themselves to models in magazines.
      • We can explain AN through ethnicity and peer influences
        • Ethnicity can be used to explain AN because other cultural groups don't place the same values on thinness as an ideal for women.
          • The incidence of AN in non-western cultures is much lower than in western cultures. In many non-western cultures there are more positive attitudes towards larger body sizes.
        • Peer acceptance is important during adolescence so teens may be particularly vulnerable to peer influences of distorted eating.
      • We can also explain AN using the psycho dynamic approach as Bruch claimed that the origins of AN are in early childhood.
        • She distinguished between parents who responded appropriately to their child's needs and parents who failed to.
          • If a child cries because they're hungry then an ineffective parent would comfort them and this may lead to confusion and cause the child to grow up confused about their internal needs
    • A02
      • Socio-cultural
        • There is research into cultural ideals as Hoek set out to test the view that AN is rare in non-western cultures. Records of people who attended hospital between 1982/89 in a non-western Caribbean island were examined.
          • They found that the rates of cases on AN were similar to those found in western cultures. Thus suggests, that AN is not rare in non-western cultures so goes against this claim,
      • Media Influences
        • There is evidence for the role of media in shaping perceptions of body images. Eating attitudes and behaviours were studied among adolescent Fijian girls following the introduction of tv in 1995.
          • The girls started a desire to lose weight to become more like western TV characters. This suggests the influence media has on body image
      • Ethnicity
        • There may not be a difference in the occurrence of AN between black and white groups
          • Cachelin + Regan found no difference in prevalence of distorted eating between African- Americans and white Caucasian people which suggests that there might not be a difference between black and white groups
    • Anorexia is an eating disorder characterised by extreme body dissatisfaction and meets the criteria in the DSM
      • The criteria consists of anxiety, weight loss, body image distortion and amenrrohea


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