Individual, familial, and socio-cultural characteristics of women with eating disorders.
AuthorBarker, Michelle Marie
AdvisorArkowitz, Harold S.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractResponding to strong indications in the research that anorexia and bulimia are reaching epidemic proportions in many Westernized nations, including the United States, Paul Garfinkel and David Garner have proposed a three-part model which implicates individual, familial, and sociocultural factors in the development of these multidetermined disorders. The present study uses Garfinkel and Garner's model to investigate factors related to the existence of an eating disorder in women between the ages of 18 and 38. Three groups of subjects were used in the study: an eating-disordered group (bulimics and anorexic bulimics; 18 women), a normal control group (26 women), and a second, depressed control group (24 women). The hypothesis that eating-disordered women were more impaired than normal controls, as measured by individual, familial, and socio-cultural factors, was largely supported, with the exception of the Bem Sex Role Inventory (socio-cultural measure), where little difference was found between groups. The hypothesis that depressed women would look healthier than women with an eating disorder but more dysfunctional than the normal controls was not supported; depressed women tended to look very much like bulimics and anorexic bulimics on the measures used in this study. Further exploration of socio-cultural factors by measures other than the Bem Sex Role Inventory, as well as further investigation of additional similarities--and differences--between depressed women and eating-disordered women would suggest more specific treatment strategies as well as possible prevention techniques for women afflicted by or at risk for an eating disorder.