Outline and evaluate one psychological explanation and one biological explanation of one eating disorder. (8 marks + 16 marks)
Anorexia is an eating disorder of abnormal weight loss dropping below 85% of what was previously considered normal. This is characterised by low blood pressure, amenorrhoea and depression, as well as other bodily changes. Anorexia is caused by strict controls on weight and unusual eating habits which can be explained through both psychological and biological explanations.
The psychological explanation of anorexia is explained through cultural ideas in the media which portrays thin models on TV and magazines. This is a significant contributory factor in body image ...view middle of the document...
Children of ineffective parents grow up confused about internal needs and become overly reliant on parents. During adulthood, these children strive for independence, but are unable to achieve this without taking excessive control over their body shape and developing abnormal eating habits.
Steiner supports this claim as he found that parents of adolescents with anorexia had a tendency to define their children’ needs rather than letting them define their own needs.
Furthermore Button and Warren examined a group of anorexia sufferers for 7 years after they were diagnosed with anorexia. These individuals relied excessively on the opinions of other and felt a lack of control over their own lives which aligns itself with Burch’s theory.
However, the psychodynamic explanation is unfalsifable because although research has been carried out into it, there’s no way of accurately telling whether the anorexia sufferers exhibit certain characteristics because of their condition or their parents; as a result it’s difficult to establish cause & effect between the explanation and the eating disorder, making it unfalsifiable.
Overall, there are real world applications gained from the psychological explanation of anorexia because in France the fashion industry has acknowledged the damaging influence of the media of on body image by publicising pictures of anorexia and promoting a healthy body image among young women.
This serves as a psychological deterrent from undereating to become anorexic, but rather become healthy in order to address the rising population of young teenage anorexic girls who die because of their disorder and prevent it.
Alternatively, a neural explanation of anorexia exists to define a biological cause.