O+E Psych explanantions of AN

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  • Created by: imanilara
  • Created on: 04-02-16 10:33


Four criteria for AN:

  • Anxiety-fearful of weight gain
  • Weight-want to control their weight-comulsive exercise/constantly measuring themselves
  • Body-image distortion-do not see the level of their thinness,see themselves as fat
  • Ameorrhoea-cessation of menstrual periods-inadequate nutrition
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Psychodynamic explanation AO1

One explanation is...HILDE BRUCH 1973

  • Origins in early childhood
  • Ineffective parents (feed a child that is anxious and comfort them when they are crying down to hunger) vs. effective parents
  • Child grows up confused about internal needs and is over reliant on over controlling parents
  • In adolescence- personal autonomy desire increases-unable to exert independence
  • In order to exert control they take excessive control over body weight
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Psychodynamic explanation AO2

Emperical evidence supporting...

  • Steiner et Al 1991- parents of adolescents with AN tend to define the child's physical needs instead of the child defining its own-supports lack of control of the child+relying on parents
  • Bruch 1973- parents anticipate the child's needs instead of allowing the child to feel hungry-unresponsive care+over control
  • Button and Warren 2001-rely on the opinions of others and feel a lack of control over their own lives-supports Bruch-lack of control is motivatingunconscious factor+over reliance
  • Wonderlich 1996-
    1099 women, sexually abused in childhood+eating disorder symptoms
    History of sexual abuse=elevated risk of ED symptoms
    Issues: retrospective data, not all developed ED, all women, difficult to test- repressed memories and unconscious motives
    Good-large sample+family issues have an effect of ED symptoms.
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Psychodynamic explanation AO2

  • Causality-family over controlling cause AN or is it that the An causes parents to be over controlling...also need longitudinal study+v few have anorexia
  • research evidence tends to be case studies-low internal validity and idiographic
  • low in replicability
  • theory originates from a small sample of viennese women-biased sample
  • it should be noted that there are debates-socially sens-can we really blame parents for everything?
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Behavourist Explanation AO1

Three strands: operant and SLT

  • people have learned this maladaptive behaviour
  • Operant (explain in a sentence)-person diets and loses weight they get compliments (+ve reinforcement), and get reduced anxiety (-ve reinforcement)
  • Rewarding feelings, so weight loss behaviour is reinforced+more likely to happen--restrictive dieting+symptoms of AN
  • SLT (explain)- women see fashion models being rewarded for thinness with money+fame-imitate this behaviour of role models through identification+lose weight developing AN., to reap the same results
  • Theory assumes media is a main factor in ED
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Behavourist Explanation AO2

Evidence supporting that people can learn ED via media:

  • Becker-65 Fijian girls before the intro of TV+another 65 after. 3% said they vomited after eating+this increased to 15%-girls who watched more TV=higher risk. wanted to be like women on TV.
    Natural experiment-naturally occuring IV-high EV yet low Int val.
    Supports idea that western media is factor because study shows change in attitudes before and after western media
    Evidence for SLT    -BUT...ind groups design-ind. differences-second group may have just had girls that already had the problem
    -Only self report-Demand characteristics-no operationalisation of eating behaviour (AN diagnosis rates) -LIMITED
  • Been a huge change in the prevalence of AN in 30yrs-too fast can't be explained by evol. In this time media images are more intrusive+therefore these messages influence AN-similar correlations for between explosion in muscular models and young men w ED.
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Behavourist Explanation AO2

Weaknesses of this explanation:

Biological-Holland et Al (1988): 45 pairs of female twins where at least one twin had AN-higher concordance with MZ then DZ-56% vs 5%-significant
-supports idea that ED inherited and not related to media-we do not learn it
-Never 100& concordance between mz twins and so not all purely biological-some psych effects too

Some debates- we are all exposed to media but do not all develop eating disorders-media cannot be the sole factor-explnataion doesnt explain why its only a minority
Doesn't explain faulty cognitions-body-image distortion.

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