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Anorexia Nervosa: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, both, or it depends?

Anorexia Nervosa: Intrapersonal, Interpersonal, both, or it depends?

The aim was to investigate the contributions of intrapersonal and interpersonal processes to eating disorders symptomatology in anorexia nervosa. Thematic analysis was used to investigate the interpersonal experiences of adolescent girls during inpatient treatment of anorexia nervosa.

In a quantitative study, findings from the qualitative study informed hypotheses, development of items for a self-report questionnaire and selection of validated questionnaires to assess eating disorders symptomatology, perfectionism and aspects of interpersonal functioning in women with anorexia nervosa and non-clinical female comparisons.

Weight-shape-related interpersonal processes influenced how the adolescents experienced their bodies, treatment and relationships with each other. Weight was a focus of their daily life and of their intra-group competitiveness and it was an index of shape, which was external and visible. Self-evaluation dependent on striving, the subjective experience of effort and fear of negative appearance evaluation by others contributed differentially to dimensions of eating disorders symptomatology in the anorexia nervosa and comparison groups. In anorexia nervosa, physical appearance comparison exerted an influence on Weight Concern and Global eating disorders symptomatology only in a three-way interaction, with fear of negative appearance evaluation and self-evaluation dependent on striving.

Findings supported a multi-dimensional understanding of anorexia nervosa, in which intrapersonal and interpersonal processes are differentially important. In anorexia nervosa, self-evaluation may depend on weight-related striving in situations where the person fears having their appearance evaluated negatively in comparison to others.

Conference: AACBT
Areas of Interest / Categories: AACBT 2014, Eating Disorders

AACBT 2014

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