Aqa A2 Psychology Unit 3 Eating Behaviour: Psychological Explanations of One Eating Disorder - Anorexia Nervosa Notes Essay

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A2 Psychology Unit 3 Eating Behaviour: Psychological Explanations Of One Eating Disorder - Anorexia Nervosa Notes What You Need To Know: Psychological Explanations Of One Eating Disorder - Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia Nervosa: What is it? • Refusal to maintain minimum normal weight and fear of weight gain. • Deliberate weight-loss and a weight of 15% or more below normal. • Disturbance in perception of own body shape, leading to an insistence that the person is overweight. • It is often co-morbid with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and/or depression. • There are two kinds: `restricted` type - associated with self-starvation, but not purging; and `binge-eating/purging` type. • There are many medical side effects, with about 5% dying of the disorder. Psychological Explanations Of Anorexia Nervosa: Experiential factors • Trauma, abuse, bullying, teasing about appearance, and bereavement are linked to eating disorder development. Research • Rastam and Gillberg (1991) found that 14% of anorexics had experienced a negative life event in the three months prior to the disorder onset whereas none of the controls had. • Other research supports this, but such research is correlational and retrospective so hard to interpret. • Childhood sexual abuse is a risk factor, but not every abused child grows to develop an eating disorder, nor is it clear why there should be a link. Research • Casper and Lyubomirsky (1997) suggest that adverse early experiences lead to other psychopathologies underlying eating disorders. • Polivy and Herman (2002) suggested that where a person feels their life is `out of control` in some way, controlling themselves and their body and weight provides them with a sense of control. Individuals therefore derive emotional gratification from anorexia. Cognitive factors • Anorexia is associated with obsessive thoughts and rigid

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