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Title: A study to examine the effect of early traumatic experiences on emotional development in the eating disorders
Author: Froom, Katy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 3204
Awarding Body: The University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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Evidence is reviewed linking specific early abusive experiences (sexual abuse, physical abuse and emotional abuse) with the occurrence of eating disorders and this is interpreted in light of two conceptual models - self-trauma theory (Briere, 1996) and schema theory (Young, 1990). These models are used to consider a potential vulnerability to further victimisation, more specifically, being bullied at school. The impact of these repeated traumatic experiences on the development of a secure sense of self and emotional regulation skills is considered and examined in light of offering an aetiological understanding of eating problems. Research is then reviewed examining the prevalence of negative self-beliefs in the eating disorders. Alexithymia has been documented as being common in individuals with eating disorders, however this is reconsidered in light of a lack of emotional expressiveness as a result of particular childhood experiences. This clinical group seem to have particular difficulties with anger and disgust, however there is a lack of concise research measuring all of the basic emotions and comparing an eating disordered group to a psychiatric control group. This study aims to examine the association of abusive experiences both at home and at school with eating disorder symptoms, as compared to a control group suffering from depression and a non clinical student group. Comparisons were also made on levels of all of the basic emotions across the three groups. The eating disordered group were found to have significantly higher levels of sexual abuse than the depression control group suggesting that this may act as a specific risk factor for eating problems. The higher level of bullying experienced by the eating disorder group, compared to the depression group, was only approaching significance; however the ED group did report higher levels of being left out or ignored by their peers. Although the prediction that the eating disorder group would report higher levels of anger was not observed, the eating disorder group did report higher levels of disgust.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available