ERIC Number: ED240449
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Real vs. Ideal Self Discrepancy in Bulimics.
Bulimia is an eating disorder prevalent among young women, characterized by binge eating episodes followed by purging with subsequent depressive moods and self-deprecating thoughts. To determine whether bulimic women exhibit a greater discrepancy between their perceived and ideal selves than do nonbulimics, three samples of women were assessed. The nonbulimic group of 53 women included 18 who reported occasional compulsive overeating but no purging. The third group consisted of 11 bulimics enmeshed in a pattern of disturbed eating behavior. An Eating Problems Questionniare was administered to all participants, and a personality test using a Q-sort methodology was administered to measure real-ideal self-discrepancy. Analyses of results showed the mean discrepancy score for nonbulimic women was 49.9. For those who claimed some compulsive eating behavior the mean was 61. For the bulimic group the mean was 106. The findings demonstrated an extraordinary discrepancy between how the bulimic sees herself and how she would like to be. Bulimics might be helped by being encouraged to develop less perfectionist conceptions of their ideal self. The resulting increase in their self-congruence might reduce their need to engage in a self-destructive binge/purge cycle. (JAC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association (Snowbird, UT, April 26-30, 1983).