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Title: Eating disorders and psychosocial development : an application of Eriksonian theory
Author: Shuttleworth, Ann
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1997
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This thesis investigates psychosocial development, with a particular emphasis on Identity formation, in women sufferers of eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa &/or Bulimia Nervosa). It consists of three sections; Section 1 comprises a literature review. Literature on Identity formation is reviewed, with a particular emphasis on the work of Erik Erikson. Current understandings of eating disorders, including those looking at the socio-cultural context, are presented. Finally, issues pertaining to Identity and to eating disorders are brought together and a relationship is suggested in which Identity issues act as a mediating factor between current cultural conditions in Western society and the rising incidence of eating disorders. Section 2 comprises the research report. The study is described which was carried out to investigate the psychosocial development of women suffering from eating disorders. In particular issues ofIdentity development were addressed. Three control groups were included in the study - two involving women suffering from psychological distress and one comprising 'psychologically healthy' women. Levels of psychological distress were measured using the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) (Derogatis, 1982). Psychosocial development was investigated within an Eriksonian framework using the Hawley's (1988) Measures of Psychosocial Development self-report inventory (MPD). The results demonstrated that the Eating Disordered group showed significantly poorer outcome on the majority of the stages of psychosocial development, including greater Identity confusion and less successful resolution of the Identity 'crisis', according to participants' self-reports. The Eating Disordered group also reported experiencing greater psychological distress than all of the control groups. Section 3; comprises a critical appraisal of the research process. Information is included on background and practical issues related to carrying out the project as well as reflections regarding the process and personal impact of the work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available