PSYC496AV Lecture Notes - Eating Disorder, Child Abuse, Emaciation

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12 Feb 2013
Gender Influences
Women appear to have been more heavily influenced by the cultural ideal of thinness
Women are typically valued more for their appearance whereas men gain esteem more for
their accomplishments
Women apparently are more concerned than men about being thin, are more likely to diet and
are thus more vulnerable to eating disorders.
The risk for eating disorders among groups of women who might be expected to be
particularly concerned with their weight such as models, dancers and gymnasts appears to be
especially high.
Cuz the onset of eating disorders is typically preceded by dieting and other concerns about
Cross cultural studies
Eating disorders appear to be far more common in industrialized societies such as the US,
Canada, Japan, Australia, and Europe than in non-industrialized nations and it is also
generally accepted that eating disorders are more evident in western cultures
Young women who immigrate to industrialized western cultures may be especially prone to
developing eating disorders owing to the experience of rapid cultural changes and pressures
The wide variation in the prevalence of eating disorders across cultures suggest the
importance of culture in establishing realistic vs potentially disordered views of ones body.
In one study of 369 adolescent girls in Pakistan none met diagnostic criteria for AN and only
one met criteria for bulimia
Its difficult to compare prevalence rates across cultures accurately
The effects of introducing tv (and exposure to body shape ideals via tv) to a rural area of Fiji
that had never had tv. This study showed that within three years there was a noticeable
increase in preoccupation with weight and body shape, purging beh, and negative evaluations
of body characteristics. Interview data also indicated that the Fijian girls acknowledged social
learning and wished to emulate ppl they had seen on tv
A disorder similar to AN that exists in several non industrialized Asian countries (India,
Malaysia, the Philippines). This disorder involves severe emaciation, food refusal and
amenorrgea but not a fear of becoming fat
BN is a culture bound syndrome while AN is not. Thus AN may be much more common
across cultures and the genetic heratability of AN relative to BN may show less variability
across cultures
Most propose that the core cause lies in disturbed parent-child relationships and agree that
certain core personality traits such as low self esteem and perfectionism, are found among
individuals with eating disorders
Symptoms of an eating disorder fulfill some need, such as the need to increase ones sense of
personal effectiveness (the person succeeds in maintaining a strict diet) does not achieve the
usual female shape)
Early psychodynamic models interpreted symptoms of anorexia from a conflict perspective
while contemporary psychodynamic models interpret symptoms of anorexia from a deficit
perspective with a particular emphasis on anorexia as a way to compensate for defects in the
Several psychodynamic theories focus on family relationships. AN is an attempt by kids who
have been raised to feel ineffectual to gain competence and respect to ward off feelings of
helplessness, ineffectiveness and powerlessness.
This sense of ineffectiveness is created by a parenting style in which the parents wishes are
imposed on the child without considering the child’s needs or wishes. Kids reared this way do
not learn to identify their own internal states and do not become self-reliant. When faced with
the demands of adolescence the child seizes on the societal emphasis on thinness and turns
dieting into a means of acquiring control and identity
Obstinate, avoidant or controlling reactions on the part of these clients often constitute
adaptations justified by past experience of parental over control
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