Sociocultural Factors that Lead to Eating Disorders in Young Women

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Sociocultural Factors that Lead to Eating Disorders in Young Women According to the DSM-5, anorexia nervosa is characterized by “distorted body image and excessive dieting that leads to severe weight loss with a pathological fear of becoming fat” while bulimia nervosa is characterized by “frequent episodes of binge eating followed by inappropriate behaviors such as self-induced vomiting to avoid weight gain” (DSM-5, American Psychiatric Association, 2013). These two disorders most often affect adolescent girls and young women. There are many factors that can cause body dysmorphia such as behavioral, genetic, and sociocultural. These factors can ultimately onset eating disorders. According to a study by Emily A. Young, James R. Clopton,…show more content…
There are a few ways in which family members can contribute to eating disorders such as, “communicating to young women that thinness is highly valued, modeling problematic eating behaviors, and criticizing weight and body shape”. Finally, Young concluded that “bulimic behavior may be most pronounced in women who report both high levels of peer pressure to be thin and high levels of socially prescribed perfectionism- belief one must meet the excessively high expectations of others” (Young et al, 2004). A larger sample was used by The McKnight Investigators to assess the risk factors for the onset of eating disorders in adolescent girls. This is a longitudinal study that used 1,103 girls in school districts in California and Arizona. The girls started the study in sixth grade and ended it in ninth grade. This was to measure risk associated with puberty and the change from youth to early adolescence. Among interviews and height and weight measurements over a course of four years, the girls were also given the McKnight Risk Factor Survey IV. This survey consists of “103 questions that assess demographics, age at onset of menstrual period and dating, appearance appraisal, effect of body changes, confidence, depressed mood, emotional eating, media modeling, concern with weight/shape, parental and peer concern with thinness, teasing,
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