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Individual Factors in The Development of An Eating Disorder

People may be vulnerable to eating disorders either because of their psychological makeup or biological susceptibility. There have been many theories regarding psychological or personality attributes that may increase the risk of eating disorders. It has been suggested that those who develop the disorder may have difficulties in adapting to the host of sexual and social demands associated with adolescence. According to this view, self-starvation becomes a mechanism for avoiding maturity because it results in a return to pre-pubertal appearance and hormonal status. This regression is thought to provide relief from adolescent turmoil and conflicts for sufferers and their families. This explanation of anorexia nervosa should not be generalized to all cases since it only applies to a subgroup of sufferers.

Other factors that have been identified as leading to eating disorders are low self-esteem, feelings of ineffectiveness, poor body image, depression, emotional instability, rigid thinking patterns, and perfectionism. Particularly within the context of overall a poor self-image, the experience of self-control, virtue, and even power derived from success in weight control may lead a person to persist in weight loss efforts, even when it becomes obvious to others that this behavior.....

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