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Lecture 19

Psychology 46-322 Lecture 19: Lectures 19,20 on Eating Disorders

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University of Windsor

Lecture 19,20 on Eating Disorders Feeding Problems  More likely to occur in young kids and those who have severe medical disorders or mental retardation  Infants and toddler à parents struggle with transition to solid food o When introduce solid food (approx. 6 months), begin with cereal, then next to veggies then fruit (after veggies because they are sweet), then maybe mixed with meats  Some babies and toddlers are finicky and dislike many things; difficult to get the child to eat new foods  Kids choke on food because chew inadequately/not at all, oral-motor problems and do not realize food is in mouth  Kids (infants and toddlers) are more likely to choke on liquids  Preschoolers are likely to choke on object foods (ex. grapes)  Some children will have difficult feeding themselves or parents don’t want to let the child feed himself as the child will make a mess; thus parents might be afraid of child feeding themselves  Annoying mealtime habits à dropping, spitting food (parents can teach the child to signal when to stop feeding)  Tantrums at meal time à Crying, screaming, food refusal, vomiting due to upset  All these problems are very prevalent; almost all kids exhibit these behaviours at least some of the time  More than 50% of parents report their child has one behaviour with regularity; 20% report 1 or more of these behaviours with regularity  Difficult kids exhibit these behaviours more often Failure to Thrive (FTT)  Life threatened failure to gain weight or weight loss  Often results in hospital admission  Low birth weight babies, children with significant medical/developmental disorders are at highest risk  Parents factors o Kids with FTT, biggest predictor is parent (particularly the mother) having eating disorder o Parents might have inadequate information on how to feed o Disturbed attachment à more common in children who have lost a parent or are living in orphanages (more likely to develop)  Child factors à medical, health, developmental problems  Temperament à difficult babies are harder to feed (may dislike control of highchair etc.)  Social factors à Lack of social support, poverty, access to community resources Eating Disorders  Typically start in adolescence because…  Factors: o Body changes rather dramatically (more dramatic in girls) o Girls put down 24lbs in adolescence (eventual pregnancy) o Have enhanced ability for self reflection and control o Self-reflection and self-control of weighs o Stressful due to dramatic changes in body o Other stressors à applying to uni/college, academic demands; making it harder for parents to have warm relationship with adolescent o Media à unrealistic ideal body figure Anorexia Nervosa  Losing at least 15% of your body weight (assume the person is around the healthy range) through extreme dietary control or purging  People who are anorexic can control weight through vomiting or use of laxatives  Key point for diagnosis: Extreme weigh loss  2 types: o Restricting à not enough calories (restricting access to calories) o Binging/purging à they have calories intake but they purge it out through vomits, use of laxatives, or through extreme levels of physical activities  Symptoms o They have normal awareness of their hungry when they start off à when the body gets to the point of near-starvation, the hunger awareness falls away o Anorexia is marked by individual having awareness of their hunger o They don’t eat even though they're hungry or over-exercising (over control)  Secondary symptoms o Females with anorexia: their hair gets really thin and develop fine downy hair over the body o If their weight gets low enough, they lose secondary sex characteristics  They might become suicidal (one of the few psychopathologies that will lead directly to death)  They might have organ failure, likely to develop loss of bone strength (inadequate calcium intake), they don’t usually reach their adult height, lack of calories (risk for short stature if during prime growing year), chronic dehydration (severe electrolyte imbalances, thus can develop cardiac arrest)  Peak age of onset: age 14 (altho number is lowering) and age 18 (largely confined to young adult women living in college settings or apartments, apart from parents)  Prevalence o Slightly less than 1% according to measured incidences o More common in females than males (increased risk for homo-males; ex. boxers and athletes, models, activities that focus on appearance) o More prevalent in industrialized areas (due to media, more available food choice)  Comorbidity o Depression (may start before or after eating disorder) and personality disorder (particularly borderline PD) o Might also have anxiety disorders (OCD) o Those who binge/purge are also at risk for substance abuse  Difficult to treat à most are in treatment multiple times, likely to relapse Etiology  Biological o Heritable disorder (but not genetic) à largely due to shared environmental influence (ex. family system that promotes eating disord
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