Psychological explanations for Anorexia nervosa

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  • Created by: athinaP
  • Created on: 19-04-16 13:44
what are the psychological explanations for anorexia nervosa?
1) social learning theory 2) psychodynamic approach
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outline the social learning theory to explain anorexia nervosa
behaviour of role models imitated through vicarious reinforcement. female role models are seen to be tall and slim. can create a tension between actual self+ ideal self. leads to dieting + obsessing over food.
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what studies support the social learning theory explanation?
1) striegal- moore + bulik 2)becker et al
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outline striegal- moore + bulik's study
images of F role models have become taller + slimmer over the last 50yrs. is associated with ^ in no. of eating disorders. Provides evidence for the role of media+ imitation in explaining A.N
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what is one weakness of striegal-moore + bulik's study
evidence is correlational, limits the support as can't establish whether images caused ^ in no. of eating disorders
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outline Becker et al's study
63 fijian girls completed questionnaire on attitudes towards eating + TV viewing habits. repeated 3yrs later with new sample. found ^ in % of girls at risk of eating disorder from 13-29. providing evidence of media being a risk factor.
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what is one weakness of Becker's study?
2nd sample was different so cannot be certain the ^ in purely because of media exposure
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what is another disadvantage of the Social learning theory explanation?
most young women exposed to slim role models yet small % become anorexic. This means there must be other personality factors.
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outline the psychodynamic explanation for anorexia nervosa
family systems theory. Explains behaviour in terms of family interactions
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what were the family characteristics that minuchin argued could lead to anorexia nervosa?
1) enmeshment 2) inability to resolve conflicts
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describe enmeshment
there is no clear sense of identity in the family as everything is done together, leads to a lack of independence
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describe the inability to resolve conflicts
families tend to ignore/deny conflict. In some cases families transfer their anxieties from the conflicts towards the anorexic child. Also, anorexia can be a way of diverting attention away from family conflicts
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what did Crisp suggest?
Anorexia is a way of preventing sexual maturity + gaining control over sexual development. this could be because girl's wish to remain prepubertal as they fear they cannot cope with adulthood
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what evaluation points are there for the psychodynamic approach?
Research evidence is retrospective, hard to establish cause+effect. Gender bias as explanation doesn't account for why males + adults can become anorexic.
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What IDA points can be brought into this explanation?
Nature vs Nurture. Psychological approach more likely to look towards the nurture side of the debate. Also A.N is a complex disorder so there will not be 1 explanation. It's likely to develop from a mix of social, psychological + biological factors
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outline the social learning theory to explain anorexia nervosa

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behaviour of role models imitated through vicarious reinforcement. female role models are seen to be tall and slim. can create a tension between actual self+ ideal self. leads to dieting + obsessing over food.

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what studies support the social learning theory explanation?

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outline striegal- moore + bulik's study

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what is one weakness of striegal-moore + bulik's study

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