Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Eating Disorder Metaphors: A Qualitative Meta-synthesis of Women's Experiences
by Goren-Watts, Rachael Brooke, Psy.D., Antioch University, 2011, 229; 10807675
Abstract (Summary)

Eating disorders have reached epidemic levels in the United States and cause immense pain and suffering. Given the high fatality and relapse rates of eating disorders, as well as the numerous medical complications associated with them, it is useful to know more about how individuals view their eating disorder, and the meaning making during the recovery process in order to better understand the experience. Narrative theory, and specifically the metaphors women use to story their experience, enrich our understanding of eating disorders within a social constructionist lens. This qualitative meta-synthesis utilizes hermeneutics and identifies and describes the metaphors that women use to talk about their eating problems. Findings demonstrate that the woman.’s relationship to her eating disorder, as revealed by her language and metaphor, shifts during the recovery process. This shift was reflected in the metaphors as they progressed from a positive metaphor while they were struggling, to a negative association during initial stages of recovery, to a more complex and nuanced expression throughout recovery, and finally to gratitude metaphors when identifying as recovered. This research adds more qualitative descriptive information to the sparse facts that are provided by diagnosis alone. The metaphors and metaphorical nature of eating disorders are discussed within the theoretical paradigms to assist in conceptualization, clinical application, future research, and public policy implications.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Belcher-Timme, Barbara, Hawes, Susan, Straus, Martha
School: Antioch University
Department: Clinical Psychology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-B 79/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Mental health, Womens studies, Clinical psychology
Keywords: Anorexia, Bulimia, Eating disorders, Meta-synthesis, Recovery
Publication Number: 10807675
ISBN: 978-0-355-84276-0
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