Essay about Anorexia Nervosa - Introduction: Statement of the Problem

2385 WordsJul 26, 201210 Pages
Introduction: Statement of the Problem Generally speaking in Western society, the incidence of eating disorders is on the rise, and no longer limited to the teenage female demographic. Startling statistics now indicate that onset of anorexia nervosa in females is beginning at a much earlier age and across more racially and ethnically diverse lines (Grover, Keel, & Mitchell, 2008). While the characteristics of the afflicted population are changing, so too are some of the theories about the disease’s origin. Consequently, the current literature has done and in depth exploration and outline of some of the more prominent etiological models of eating disorders. Overall, the scope of the modern literature is limited to a discussion…show more content…
In addition to this, the DSM-IV Text Revised, states that in general, the average age of onset for anorexia nervosa in females occurs in mid to late adolescence, mostly between fourteen to eighteen years of age (APA, 2000). The American Psychological Association maintains this assertion, placing the average age of onset in the adolescent years (Stice et al., 2008). However, presently, there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the age of onset may actually be earlier than mid-adolescence. Seven years ago the idea of seeing a nine or ten year old anorexic would have been shocking but now it has unfortunately become quite common (Stice et al., 2008). In a similar study, reviewing the nature of weight concerns in young girls, researchers found that approximately one fifth of participants expressed some element of body dissatisfaction or weight concern (Weller & Dziegielewski, 2009). Researchers also point out the potential threat on validity when using the self-report of a five-year-old child (Tiggemann & McGill, 2009). However, what is important is that a significant portion of this population was, at some level, aware of the ongoing societal dialogue about weight and the importance of thinness (Tiggemann & McGill, 2009). Regrettably, anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any mental illness (Heinberg & Thompson, 2008). Actually, the

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