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The importance of being thin: perceived expectations from self and others and the effect on self-evaluation in girls with disordered eating
Örebro University, School of Health and Medical Sciences. (Psykiatriskt forskningscentrum)
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aims of this thesis were to examine personal standards, self-evaluation and attitudes to eating and weight in the development of disturbed eating in adolescent girls, and to examine how adolescent girls with a clinical eating disorder reflect upon and deal with perceived expectations in daily life.

Studies I and II were quantitative studies, conducted in a population-based longitudinal study. Studies III and IV were qualitative interview studies of girls who were suffering from eating disorders and the data were analysed using a phenomenographic approach.

Study I showed that high personal standards expressed in a competitive way were specific for the girls with disturbed eating. These girls also reported a negative physical self-evaluation and often believed that thinness would make them more popular. In study II variables concerning attitudes to eating and weight and physical self-evaluation emerged as risk factors for disturbed eating, whereas personal standards or self-evaluation in general did not. Protective factors were a low BMI, healthy eating attitudes, an accepting attitude towards body size and a positive self-evaluation. Three categories of perceived expectations were described in study III: expectations from others, self-imposed expectations and conflicting expectations. Many informants had problems identifying expectations that were not explicit and they interpreted them as self-imposed. In study IV the various ways in which the informants reflected on dealing with these expectations were summarized into three qualitatively different conceptions: being oneself, adapting to different situations and presenting oneself in a positive light. These conceptions were expressed in five patterns of action, which could have various functions for different individuals and in different situations.

The results suggest that in order to prevent and treat eating disorders and related problems it is essential to integrate both intrapersonal and contextual factors that contribute to the development and maintenance of these conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet , 2010. , 83 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Medicine, ISSN 1652-4063 ; 41
Keyword [en]
Eating disorders, risk factors, protective factors, sociocultural factors, gender, perfectionism, personal standards, competitiveness, phenomenography.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10008ISBN: 978-91-7668-717-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-10008DiVA: diva2:304651
Public defence
2010-04-23, Wilandersalen, Universitetssjukhuset USÖ, Örebro, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-15 Last updated: 2011-05-11Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Personal standards, self-evaluation and perceived benefits of thinness in girls and young women with disturbed eating
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Personal standards, self-evaluation and perceived benefits of thinness in girls and young women with disturbed eating
2008 (English)In: European eating disorders review, ISSN 1072-4133, E-ISSN 1099-0968, Vol. 16, no 6, 463-471 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to examine personal standards, self-evaluation and perceived benefits of thinness in Swedish females 14-21 years with disturbed eating (DE) and to compare these to a group with other psychosocial problems and to a symptom free group. Seventy subjects with DE-group, 65 subjects with psychosocial problems and 70 symptom free subjects were compared regarding items selected from four questionnaires. High personal standards expressed in a competitive way were specific for the DE-group. In comparison with the other groups the DE-group also reported significantly more perceived benefits of thinness and they more frequently believed that thinness would make them more popular. The DE-group also reported a more negative self-evaluation, although this was a trait shared with the subjects with other psychosocial problems and consequently not specific for the DE-group. Identifying specific factors that perpetuate DE habits is important in order to improve our understanding and enhance the treatment of eating disorders.

National Category
Medical and Health Sciences Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-3546 (URN)10.1002/erv.885 (DOI)18615843 (PubMedID)
Available from: 2008-12-09 Created: 2008-12-09 Last updated: 2011-08-30Bibliographically approved
2. Risk and protective factors for disturbed eating in adolescent girls: aspects of perfectionism and attitudes to eating and weight
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Risk and protective factors for disturbed eating in adolescent girls: aspects of perfectionism and attitudes to eating and weight
2009 (English)In: European eating disorders review, ISSN 1072-4133, E-ISSN 1099-0968, Vol. 17, no 5, 380-389 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to longitudinally examine the role of personal standards, self-evaluation, perceived benefits of thinness and attitudes to eating and weight in the development of healthy versus disturbed eating in adolescent girls.

In a longitudinal study, girls who participated in two assessments, four to five years apart, were divided into three groups according to the attitudes to eating that they manifested at the second evaluation: those with disturbed eating patterns (DE-group n=49), those with intermediate concerns about eating (IE-group, n= 260) and those with healthy eating attitudes (HE-group n=120).

Variables concerning attitudes to eating and weight and physical self-evaluation emerged as risk factors, whereas personal standards or self-evaluation in general did not. Protective factors were a low BMI, healthy eating attitudes, an accepting attitude towards body size and a positive self-evaluation, particularly with regard to physical and psychological characteristics.

The results of this study contribute to the understanding of early risk and protective factors for eating disturbances in girls.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2009
Keyword
eating disorders, perfectionism, protective factors, risk factors
National Category
Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10006 (URN)10.1002/erv.930 (DOI)000269964500007 ()2-s2.0-70449700392 (Scopus ID)
Projects
ingår i doktorsavhandling.
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-15 Last updated: 2017-02-20Bibliographically approved
3. Perceived expectations in daily life among adolescent girls suffering from an eating disorder: A Phenomenographic Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceived expectations in daily life among adolescent girls suffering from an eating disorder: A Phenomenographic Study
Show others...
2010 (English)In: Eating Disorders, ISSN 1064-0266, E-ISSN 1532-530X, Vol. 18, no 1, 25-42 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to describe the variation of perceived expectations in daily life of adolescent girls suffering from eating disorders. Eighteen interviews with girls between the age of 15 and 19 years were analyzed according to the phenomenographic approach. The results could be summarized into three categories: expectations from others, self-imposed expectations, and conflicting expectations. Each of these could be further subdivided into two conceptions. Conflicting and unattainable expectations were severe stressors in the informants’ lives. Many informants had problems identifying expectations that were not explicit. The informants internalized these expectations and interpreted them to be self-imposed. Clinical implications are suggested.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Philadelphia: Routledge, 2010
National Category
Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10100 (URN)10.1080/10640260903439524 (DOI)
Projects
Ingår i doktorsavhandling.
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-19 Last updated: 2010-09-01Bibliographically approved
4. How to deal with perceived expectations in daily life: reflections of adolescent girls suffering from eating disorders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to deal with perceived expectations in daily life: reflections of adolescent girls suffering from eating disorders
Show others...
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study was to investigate how adolescent girls with eating disorders reflect upon various ways of dealing with societal expectations in daily life. Eighteen interviews with girls in the age span 15-19 were analysed using the phenomenographic approach.

The results could be summarized into three qualitatively different conceptions: A) being oneself, B) adapting to different situations and C) presenting oneself in a positive light. These conceptions were expressed in five courses of action.

Keyword
eating disorders, phenomenography, qualitative research, sociocultural expectations, sociocultural factors
National Category
Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-10101 (URN)
Projects
Ingår i avhandlingsarbete
Available from: 2010-03-19 Created: 2010-03-19 Last updated: 2016-12-07Bibliographically approved

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