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Title: Social processes and the development of disordered eating attitudes
Author: Gilbert, Nicola Jane.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3498 5715
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2003
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Background: A review of the literature reveals a need to extend the current cognitivebehavioural models for eating disorders. The present thesis aims to address this need by investigating the role of social processes in the development of eating psychopathology. Objectives: The thesis has two broad aims. The first is to thoroughly determine links between two socio-cognitive processes (a fear of negative evaluation and self-comparison) and eatingrelated attitudes. The second aim is to explore social proximity, similarity and the convergence of unhealthy eating attitudes amongst groups of young women. Methods: These aims were tested using experimental and correlational methods. Female students completed self-report measures of eating attitudes, related psychopathology and socio-cognitive processes. Main findings: First, heightened negative evaluation fears were associated with restrictive eating attitudes, and were reliable predictors of the development of bulimic symptoms over time. Second, general self-comparison was linked with more disordered eating attitudes (particularly bulimic attitudes). Furthermore, self-esteem was a perfect statistical mediator of the general self-comparison-eating psychopathology link. Finally, peer selection and peer influence operated to bring about group similarity and a convergence of eating attitudes. Implications: The current findings make valuable contributions to both eating disorder research and clinical practice. These implications are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available