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Title: Sense of coherence in anorexia nervosa
Author: Aitcheson, Sam
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is a well-documented but poorly understood psychological disorder. There is controversy over the conceptual clarity and efficacy of therapies for the condition and it continues to have one of the highest mortality rates of all psychiatric disorders. Recent psychological conceptualisations of AN have viewed anorexic behaviour as a coping strategy to deal with underlying general psychopathology. The search for predictors of AN has been a frequent topic in eating disorders research and anorexics have often been identified as perfectionistic and valuing achievement as a means to self-worth. The eating disturbance associated with AN has also been viewed as a means to enhancing self-perception. Research into coping has also achieved much attention. Antonovsky (1979; 1987) has posited the construct of Sense of Coherence which allows individuals to cope successfully with stress and avoid psychological ill-health. Part of this construct posits educational and vocational achievement as indicators of a strong Sense of Coherence. This study hypothesised that anorexics, with their high achievement orientation, would exhibit different patterns of scores on the Sense of Coherence questionnaire when compared to a group of controls and a group of depressed individuals. Results indicated that anorexics' SOC scores were significantly lower than controls' but significantly higher than depressed individuals'. Concern was expressed regarding the validity of the clinically orientated SOC research literature given the tendency to use this salutogenic measure in pathogenic research designs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available