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Title: The role of the self and self-imagery in eating disorders
Author: Farrar, Stephanie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2743 5047
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2013
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The importance of the self-concept in eating disorders has become increasingly more recognised and recent cognitive models have incorporated a central role for self-schemas in the development and maintenance of this disorder (Cooper, Wells, & Todd, 2004; Waller, Kennerley, & Ohanian, 2007). In the first section of this thesis, the literature investigating the role of core beliefs and schema processes in this clinical population is reviewed. Although hampered by methodological weaknesses, in accordance with the models, there is evidence to suggest that self-schemas may influence the development and maintenance of eating disorder symptomology. The importance of incorporating techniques that modify these schema-level beliefs into existing treatment protocols is discussed and preliminary evidence regarding the use of imagery rescripting to modify core beliefs is explored. The findings suggest that imagery interventions may be a powerful way to access and modify the self-concept, and highlight the importance of further exploring the relationship between imagery and the self in this population. The empirical paper aims to develop current literature by exploring the role of self-imagery in eating disorders. The study investigated the effect of retrieving differently valenced self-images on different aspects of the self-concept (self-esteem and self-concept clarity) in a sample of individuals with high body dissatisfaction. In accordance with the proposal that self-images represent an individual’s current working self (Hulme, Hirsch, & Stopa, 2012), holding positive and negative self-images in mind was associated with the retrieval of different self-concepts. Specifically, negative self-imagery retrieval resulted in a decrease in state self-esteem, self-concept clarity, body satisfaction and affect. In comparison, positive imagery retrieval resulted in an improvement in self-esteem, body satisfaction and affect. The potential role of negative self-imagery in the maintenance of eating disorder pathology and the clinical implications regarding the use of positive self-imagery interventions with this client group are discussed.
Supervisor: Stopa, Lusia ; Turner, Hannah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology