Abnormal - analyse etiologies of anorexia Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Abnormal - analyse etiologies of anorexia Deck (15):

biological etiologies

- evolutionary (Surbey, 1987)
- anorexia and OCD are similar (Zandian et al, 2007)
- serotonin hypothesis (Striegel-Moore and Bulik, 2007)
- unusual brain activity (van Kuyck et al, 2007)


biological etiologies: evolutionary theory

Surbey (1987):
- noted that weight loss usually comes after the amenorrhea
- anorexia often occurs in girls who are maturing early, so Surbey suggests that starvation is an adaptive response
- this deliberately delays reproductive capabilities until a more appropriate time


biological etiologies: evaluation of evolutionary theory

- unlike many evolutionary theories, it can be experimentally tested -- as it states that females who delay menstruation (or undergo amenorrhea) may enjoy greater reproductive success
- also explains obsession with food that many anorexic patients have; adaptive behaviour during starvation is to shift attention to acquiring food

- excludes males (even if males are a very small sub-group of anorexics)


biological etiologies: anorexia and OCD

Zandian et al (2007):
- anorexia is an expression of underlying OCD -- as OCD frequently precedes anorexia
- suggests sexual dimorphism in the manifestation of OCD -- female biology interacts with the OCD in a way that has a higher chance of causing the OCD to manifest as anorexia


biological etiologies: serotonin hypothesis

Striegel-Moore and Bulik (2007):
- found that less serotonin receptors = more mood issues among anorexic patients
- also found that in general serotonin levels are low in anorexic patients


biological etiologies: criticism of serotonin hypothesis

Zandian et al. (2007):
- studies measuring serotonin levels do not have a 'before' measure -- this is impossible to obtain!
- furthermore, 'after' measures indicate that serotonin levels return to normal after health is restored
- as serotonin is known to inhibit eating, it's more likely that low serotonin is a product rather than a cause of anorexia


biological etiologies: unusual brain activity

van Kuyck et al (2007):
- anorexia sufferers show decreased activity in the parietal cortex
- this could be attributed to the body dysmorphia and anosognosia (ignorance/denial of one's condition) that frequently occurs in anorexia patients
- as the parietal cortex is sexually dysmorphic, this could explain the difference between male and female prevalences of anorexia


cognitive etiologies

- need for control (Fairburn et al, 1999)
- body distortion hypothesis (Bruch, 1962)


cognitive etiologies: need for control

Fairburn et al. (1999):
- low self esteem + extreme need for control = anorexia
- suggests that the need for control can be met more easily in the aspect of controlling food intake rather than in other aspects (e.g. sports, social life)
- this is supported by the fact that dieting is associated with self-control in Western society
- over time, control over eating becomes a measure of self-worth


cognitive etiologies: body distortion hypothesis

Bruch (1962):
- anorexic people suffer from body dysmorphia
- their flaws are magnified to themselves


cognitive etiologies: criticism of body distortion hypothesis

Fallon and Rozin (1988):
- when families were asked to compare their body shape to their ideal body shape, only the sons reported that their body shape was acceptable
- most mother and daughter participants believed that men prefer thinner women than they actually do


sociocultural etiologies

- improper diagnostic systems (Lee et al, 1966)
- social stigmatisation of obesity (Lee et al, 1966)
- conformity to social standards (Strahan et al, 2007)


sociocultural etiologies: improper diagnostic systems

Lee et al. (1966):
- Western diagnostic systems are inappropriate for use in other countries
- 16% of slim but healthy Chinese women can be classified as anorexic using the Western BMI


sociocultural etiologies: social stigmatisation of obesity

Lee et al (1966):
- notes that anorexia developed most intensely in areas with significant media influence
- thus people are exposed to a significant amount of info on dieting and eating disorders
- may influence people to think they are the wrong shape
- unclear whether anorexia has caused this receptiveness, or if acceptance of the message led to anorexia


sociocultural etiologies: conformity to social standards

Strahan et al. (2007):
- encourages them to believe that thin models and actresses are normal and attractive
- so people conform to the perceived expectations of others to undergo excessive dieting to fit that norm
- may be influenced from a young age for females (e.g. Barbie doll shape)

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