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Title: Attachment and sense of coherence in Anorexia Nervosa
Author: Jackson, Calum
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2005
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Introduction-Development theories of anorexia nervosa propose that both negative early childhood experiences and perceptions of poor self-efficacy and coping are important factors in the disorders aetiology. This study aimed to assess whether there were any styles of attachment or patterns of perceived self-efficacy and coping (sense of coherence) that are specific to anorexia nervosa. The study also aimed to assess whether there was a relationship between high insecure attachments, weak sense of coherence and high eating disordered belief and behaviours within anorexia nervosa. Method-The study compared the differences between 42 anorexia nervosa patients (AN), 42 controls with psychological difficulties (PDC) and 45 normal controls (NC). The three groups were matched for age and sex. All participants completed the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, the Attachment Style Questionnaire and the Sense of Coherence Scale. Additionally the AN group were assessed using the Eating Disordered Examination Interview. Results-Analysis of variance found that the AN group had significantly higher levels of insecure attachment than the NC group and that need for approval insecure attachment style was significantly higher in the AN group than in the PDC or NC groups. Sense of coherence was significantly lower within the AN group than both the control groups but the subscales of the Sense of Coherence Scale showed no within group differences. Regression analysis that weak sense of coherence significantly predicted high levels of eating disordered pathology and that high levels of insecure attachment predicted weak sense of coherence within the AN group. Discussion-These results appear to add further support to aspects of developmental and cognitive theories of anorexia nervosa. The further development of cognitive and schema focused therapies used in the treatment of anorexia nervosa are proposed. The limitations of the study and the possible direction for future study are also discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available