Eating Disorders Essay

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Eating Disorders

A vast amount of research has been done on the subject of eating disorders and their causes. Many eating disorders have been proven to emerge during adolescence and often serve as the foundations to more serious problems like anorexia and bulimia. This essay will explore the development of eating disorders in adolescent girls. It will show that these disorders are closely connected to the biological and psychosocial changes that occur during the adolescent period.

Many teen girls suffer with anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder in which girls use starvation diets to try to lose weight. They starve themselves down to skeletal thinness yet still think that they are overweight. Bulimia, meanwhile,
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This problem is aggravated by various problems, including negative body image, which has a close association with weight, perfectionism and depression. Family and socialization also play significant roles. It has been found, for instance, that mothers with girls with eating disorders are often critical of their daughters' weight and physical appearance. Families with adolescents who have eating disorders are also often characterized by enmeshment, overprotectiveness, rigidity and lack of conflict resolution. This is connected to the "control" issue mentioned previously. Interestingly enough, girls who are more involved in mixed-sex social activities and dating boys are also more likely to exhibit disordered eating tendencies. (Attie and Brooks-Gun, pp.70-71).

Thus, eating disorders must be studied in the context of what certain individuals face during their developmental stage, or what they may have suffered in childhood. In general, a combination of the pubertal phase of the female body, the loosening of the individual's ties to parents, and the development of a stable and cohesive personality structure play profound roles in this process. Psychologists Ilana Attie and J. Brooks-Gun have done some work on this issue. They considered eating disorders within the so-called
"developmental" perspective, which examines the emergence of eating disorders in adolescent girls as a function of pubertal growth, body
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