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|Thesis||658 KB||Adobe Acrobat PDF||View/Open
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/929789
- Eating disorder symptomatology and mindfulness: are they related and what is their influence on body image, identity, personality and quality of life?
- University of Newcastle. Faculty of Science and Information Technology, School of Psychology
- Professional Doctorate - Doctorate of Clinical Psychology (DCP)
- Scope: The current study was designed to investigate the relationship between mindfulness and eating disordered symptom to inform treatment. Additionally, underlying factors including body image, self control, sense of self, identity, negative affect and distress, personality and quality of life, were also investigated in order to increase understanding about eating disorders and the interaction of these factors with the individuals’ capacity to be mindful. Purpose: There has been increasing interest in the use of mindfulness and acceptance based therapies in treating various disorders and conditions, however evidence to support the application of mindfulness-based treatments for eating disorders is limited. The theoretical underpinnings of mindfulness-based approaches focus on underlying issues rather than eating behaviour itself. The importance of the research included in this thesis is highlighted by the serious health risks associated with eating disorders, as well as the inadequacies recognised with CBT as a psychological intervention for eating disorders. Methodology: This research consisted of two studies. In Study 1 a battery of questionnaires including: the Eating Disorder Examination – Questionnaire, Kentucky Mindfulness Inventory, the Body Image Acceptance and Action Questionnaire, the Ego Identity Processes Questionnaire, Sense of Self Inventory and a measure of the Big 5 traits of personality; was administered online to first year psychology students at an Australian University (N=411). In Study 2 people diagnosed with an eating disorder presenting to a specialist service in NSW, Australia for treatment (N=10) completed the battery. Results: Study 1 results in the student sample indicated a strong negative relationship between eating disorder symptoms and acceptance of body image. Observing alone as a mindfulness skill was related to higher reported eating disorder symptoms, however the mindfulness skills acceptance without judgment and action with awareness were related to lower eating disorder symptoms. Body image Study 2 results also provided further evidence for this relationship, with the clinical population producing a lower than average capacity for Mindfulness. Further, findings in Studies 1 and 2 provided evidence of an association between eating disorder symptomatology and additional factors including body image, sense of self, self compassion, personality, self control and quality of life, as well as high co-morbidity with other Axis I and Axis II mental health disorders. General Conclusions and Implications: These findings are consistent with theory that certain aspects of Mindfulness (especially acceptance without judgment and action with awareness) play a role in reducing distress, providing some support for a possible role of mindfulness based interventions in treating Eating Disorders and additional evidence for the application of Mindfulness based treatment approaches in this population. Moreover, relationships with additional factors as well as high levels of co-morbidity highlight the need for thorough assessment and support the holistic psychological treatment approaches, focusing on the whole person rather than specifically targeting eating disordered thoughts and behaviour.
quality of life
- Resource Type
- Copyright 2011 Emma Prowse