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
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In general, body image dissatisfaction and control have long been considered to play a significant role in the development and persistence of disordered eating patterns (Shapiro, Newcomb, & Loeb, 2008). Body image has come to the forefront of eating disorder theory, and strong evidence suggests that it is a critical risk factor for the development of overall eating pathology, and anorexia nervosa specifically (Shapiro et al., 2008). The term body image refers to one’s attitudes and feelings about one’s own body, particularly in terms of its physical appearance. Negative body image and body dissatisfaction are strongly associated with restrictive eating (Cash & Henry, 2009). Furthermore, the negative affect associated with negative body image is thought to be a contributing factor to social anxiety, self-consciousness, depression, and low self esteem (Grover et al., 2008).
Although much is known about the medical and psychological consequences of eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, there is less certainty regarding their etiologies.
Socio-cultural theory has long been implicated as a leading cause of eating pathology among females (Shapiro et al., 2008). It is the etiological theory that has been the recipient of the most theoretical and practical support for increased levels of body image