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Title: Hypnotizability and dissociation in dietary restraint
Author: Frasquilho, Francisco Miguel
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2000
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The literature on hypnotizability and dissociation was reviewed in relation to patterns of clinical and non-clinical eating behaviours. Included was a theoretical interpretation of the significantly higher rates of hypnotizability and dissociation in certain eating disordered groups, such as bulimics, compared to age matched controls. However, non-clinical investigations between hypnotizability, dissociation, and problematic eating patterns were focused on in particular. Two principle hypotheses emerged from this review. First, the Socio-Hypnotic hypothesis (e.g. Groth-Marnat & Schumaker, 1990; Frasquilho & Oakley, 1997) suggested that hypnotic suggestibility may influence the internalisation of socio-cultural pressure to be thin. Second, the Dissociative Escape Hypothesis proposes that a vulnerability to experience dissociative phenomena as a potential defence mechanism may lead individuals to disinhibit eating behaviour when faced with aversive cognitions (based on Heatherton & Baumeister, 1991, McManus, 1995; Frasquilho & Oakley, 1997). These hypotheses were framed in terms of a social-cultural model of problematic eating (Stice, 1994). After reviewing the concepts behind the definitions and measurements of hypnotizability, different types of dissociation, dietary restraint, and disinhibited eating, four studies sought to explore associations between these factors within a non-clinical female college student population. Study 1 (n = 40) examined the relationship between types of restraint and non-hypnotic suggestions relating to imagining body size increase and decrease, in the context of body related anxiety, disinhibition of eating, and imagery based suggestibility. Study 2 (n = 87) and Study 3 (n = 123) used correlational and regression techniques to examine relationships between a widely used test of hypnotizability and tests of cognitive and affective dissociation in relation to a number of dietary restraint and disinhibition of eating measures. Study 4 (n = 50) examined differences between restrainers and non-restrainers on a behavioural index of body shape and food concerns based on a Stroop-type paradigm and examined these concerns in relation to dissociation and hypnotizability. The Socio-Hypnotic hypothesis was weakly supported by correlation evidence, though regression analyses revealed more complex effects. While correlations involving dissociation needed to control for depression, different types of dissociation may relate to different features of both disinhibited eating and dietary restraint. These results were summarised and discussed in the final chapter and future research possibilities examined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available