Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.521902
Title: Attentional bias and distress tolerance in the eating disorders
Author: Berg, Katy
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2008
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Abstract:
The purpose of the current study was to examine a potential mechanism in the maintenance of distress tolerance difficulties and eating pathology in individuals with eating disorders. A role for attentional bias towards emotion-related stimuli was proposed, based on the premise that these stimuli would be perceived as threatening to individuals who have difficulties tolerating distress; and use eating related behaviours to regulate their emotions. It has been suggested that difficulties tolerating distress can develop as a result of invalidating childhood experiences in this group. Therefore, the relationship between attentional bias, distress tolerance difficulties and perceived experience of an invalidating childhood environment was also examined. A visual probe detection task was used to examine attentional bias for positive and negative emotion words in individuals with and without an eating disorder. Self-report measures of distress tolerance and perceived experience of an invalidating childhood were also taken. Results did not show a significant group difference in attentional bias for positive or negative emotion words. A trend towards individuals with eating disorders being more likely to direct their attention away from negative emotion words was observed. Higher levels of distress tolerance difficulties and perceived experience of invalidating childhood environments were reported in the clinical group. Furthermore, bias away from negative emotion words was associated with a deficit in healthy distress tolerance strategies in this group. These results are consistent with the idea that cognitive avoidance of negative emotion-related information is associated with distress tolerance difficulties in individuals with eating disorders. However, further investigation of this bias would be necessary in order to determine whether or not it is a reliable finding and clarify whether it is specific to individuals with eating disorders, or to a sub group of such individuals. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.521902  DOI: Not available
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