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Title: An exploratory study of the concept of body image in women with mild learning disabilities
Author: Probert, Rachel
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2001
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This study explored the concept of body image in women with mild learning disabilities. It employed a qualitative research methodology, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 1996), to elicit their in-depth personal accounts and experiences. The sample consisted of ten women with mild learning disabilities who ranged from 27 years to 61 years of age. Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule, interviews were then transcribed verbatim and served as raw data for the analysis. Analysis revealed that the women in this study shared a number of similarities with women in the general population in relation to the way they viewed their bodies. Themes indicated that they experienced pressures to be thin and had preoccupations with weight loss. Furthermore, socio-cultural influences including those emanating from the women’s families appeared to have an impact on these pressures and preoccupations. A small subgroup of four women were however able to disregard the pressures to be thin and accept their bodies or respond to the pressures by dieting and losing weight and then express happiness with their new shapes. Themes were considered in relation to the body image and learning disability literature. In addition, methodological issues and the challenges of undertaking research with learning disabled populations were discussed together with the clinical implications of the study and directions for future research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available