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Psychological Explanations for
Anorexia Nervosa
Sociocultural Explanations
(Page, 86 A2 Psychology book)…read more

Slide 2

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Anorexia Nervosa is a type of
eating disorder where the
individual fears that they are, or
will become, obese and therefore
engage in self-starvation to stop
this from happening.…read more

Slide 3

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Sociocultural explanations include cultural
ideals with the media, ethnicity and peer
influence.…read more

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Cultural ideals include the factor of attractiveness in Western
cultures is a major contributory factor in the development of
Hoek et al, (1998) set out to test that Anorexia is rare in non-
western cultures where the emphasis on being thin is minimal.
They examined 44,192 people admitted to hospital across a
year in a non-westernised Caribbean island where being
overweight was acceptable. They found a total of six cases of
Anorexia which is within the same range of rates of Anorexia
reported in western countries.
This suggests that there are no cultural boundaries to
Anorexia and that culture may not be so important in the
development of Anorexia as previously thought.…read more

Slide 5

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Hoek et al, (1998) Non-western study (previous slide) image explanation
in not
44,192 found
6 in
End…read more

Slide 6

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Media influences are seen as a major source to influence body image
attitudes, such as the portrayal of thin models on television and in
magazines contribute to the adolescent drive to be thin.
This has been supported by the Becker et al, (2002) where they
studied a group of adolescent Fijian girls after being introduced to the
television. The girls soon stated that they wanted to lose weight be
become more like the western television characters. This can also add
some weight to the cultural ideals argument that thinness is a mainly
western culture ideal.
Jones and Buckingham (2005) however, showed that the media
influences everyone differently by stating that people with low self-
esteem are more likely to compare themselves to idealised images
portrayed in the media.…read more

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