ERIC Number: ED361614
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Sep-19
Anorexia Nervosa: Sociocultural Factors and Treatment.
This paper examines how the epidemiological findings of anorexia nervosa lead theorists to speculate a correlation between sociocultural factors and the development of anorexia nervosa. A section on the essential features of anorexia nervosa identifies five primary characteristics of anorexia: (1) severe weight loss; (2) a disturbance of body image and body concept; (3) a disturbance of cognitive interpretation of body stimuli, combined with a failure to recognize signs of nutritional need; (4) hyperactivity and denial of fatigue; and (5) a paralyzing sense of ineffectiveness. A section on the epidemiology of anorexia nervosa notes that it is a disorder that occurs overwhelmingly in females, that the number of cases of anorexia has increased over the last 20 years, that onset is increasingly being seen in young adulthood, and that anorexia appears to be more pervasive in the upper and middle socioeconomic classes and in Western industrialized countries. A section on sociocultural theory examines the cultural and media emphasis on thinness and the effect of this emphasis on women; the ambivalence experienced by girls who are developing into women and the onset of anorexia nervosa; and the anorexic as a cultural heroine. Body image is considered in the next section, followed by a section on treatment methods. Discussions of feminist-oriented groups and non-verbal therapeutic techniques (relaxation, guided imagery, video feedback, and movement therapy are included. (Contains 35 references.) (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A