EDs: Anorexia Nervosa- Psychological Explanations

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What are the 3 psychodynamic explanations?
Control (Bruch), Remain pre-pubescent (Crisp) and Family Systems (Minuchin).
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Outline the Control explanation by Bruch.
Argues that parents of anorexics are domineering&controlling (e.g. parents may choose child's a-level subjects)&female an's are 'good girls' so they feel controlled by desires/demands of others so thinness & starvation are signs of self-control&ind.
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What did Bruch say the children experience?
"such children experience themselves as not... owning their bodies."
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Make an evaluative point on Bruch's explanation.
Cause and Effect is difficult to establish: the parents may become controlling as a result of their child developing anorexia.
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Outline the Remain Pre-Pubescent explanation by Crisp.
Due to over-dependence on parents, girls may fear becoming sexually mature&independent- AN prevents 'sexuality' ('boy-like') and causes amenorrhea so Crisp claims they avoid sexuality and pregnancy in particular by becoming anorexic.
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Evaluate Crisp's explanation.
+Evidence proves that anorexics will eat as long as they don't gain weight which supports the theory that they don't eat merely to prevent puberty. - Gender Biased (doesn't explain why men get AN).
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Outline p1 of the Family Systems explanation by Minuchin et al.
AN is the result of dysfunctional family systems: when there is marital discord a teen w/ AN might bring partners closer again because the attention is on the anorexic child rather than their marital problems.
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Outline p2 of the Family Systems explanation by Minuchin et al.
An 'enmeshed pattern'- fam's over involved in each other's lives & adolescence threatens to expose 'closeness facade' so AN means fam can maintain illusion of being harmonious because they have a mutual focus which unites them.
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Evaluate Minuchin's explanation.
-Evidence in this regard is unclear (Gaves &North). - Difficult to establish cause and effect because fam member with AN could cause stress which is mistaken for the stress which caused AN.
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Evaluate the Psychodynamic approach.
-Gender Bias, are family probs a cause or an effect?, unfalsifiable, based on case studies: small sample=hard to generalise. + BUT, in depth info gained from case studies, treatments based on this are effective: some degree of accuracy.
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What are the Debates of the Psychodynamic Explanation?
Is Psychology a Science? (unfalsifiable), Nature v. Nurture (nature dominant), Deterministic (no choice over becoming anorexic), NOT reductionist (diverse range of causes).
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What 2 sections are the Behaviourist approach split into?
Operant Conditioning and Social Learning Theory.
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Outline Operant Conditioning as a cause of Anorexia.
ED's= learned behavior that is maintained through pos. reinforcements (e.g. successful diet= compliments of weight loss) which encourage behaviour to be repeated. Restricting eating may be slimming but anorexics take it too far.
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Outline Social Learning Theory as a cause of Anorexia.
Mass Media portrays female body shape as being slender and slim which, if role models are the same, may contribute to the development of anorexia.
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What 3 studies can be used to evaluate the Behaviourist approach?
Barlow&Durand- 'Miss America' Contestants, Lee- China, and Hoek.
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What did Barlow and Durand's 'Miss America' study find?
Over 50% of contestands were 15% below their normal body weight, decrease in average weight over last 30 years: IDEAL SIZE NOW SEEN AS SLIM.
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What did Lee find in China?
Eating Disorders are rare in China because dieting is not part of the culture- thinness seen as sign of ill-health and wasting food is unlucky (BUT, Chinese doctors may not report EDs because they're not familiar to them).
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What did Hoek find?
Found 8 definite cases of anorexia after searching medical records on the Caribbean Island Curaco, where 'fat is beautiful': cases hadn't been reported because they weren't expected.
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Evaluate the Behaviourist Explanation.
+ = strong case for persistance of anorexia, role modelling explains the incr. in recent years: also why more AN fem's. - = doesn't explain why many women diet due to media but aren't anorexic & why dieting continues when pos. reinforcements stop.
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What are the Issues and Debates with the Behaviourist Explanation?
Ethics (sensitivity needed), Reductionist (doesn't acknowledge other theories: simplistic), Free Will v. Determinism (can't stop media from causing AN), Nature V Nurture (ignores nature debate).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Outline the Control explanation by Bruch.

Back

Argues that parents of anorexics are domineering&controlling (e.g. parents may choose child's a-level subjects)&female an's are 'good girls' so they feel controlled by desires/demands of others so thinness & starvation are signs of self-control&ind.

Card 3

Front

What did Bruch say the children experience?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Make an evaluative point on Bruch's explanation.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Outline the Remain Pre-Pubescent explanation by Crisp.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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