Development of self-understanding in anorectic and nonanorectic adolescent girls

Mira Zamansky Levitt, Daniel Hart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clinical reports have consistently noted disturbances in the anorectic girl's self-concept, and have associated this with difficulties in the mother-daughter relationship. This study interprets these disturbances within the framework of a developmental approach to self-understanding in an attempt to shed further light on the significance of anorectic symptomatology. Age-matched anorectic and nonanorectic girls (one group with curvature of the spine and one group with no known physical or psychological disorder) were interviewed and responded to measures assessing: (1) developmental levels of different aspects of self-understanding; (2) locus of control; (3) self-concept in the context of the mother-daughter relationship; and (4) discrepancies between self-concept and inferred perspective of the mother about the self. Anorectic girls were found to be at a significantly lower developmental level of understanding of the volitional aspect of self-concept (control over their lives) than the normal controls. In the context of the mother-daughter relationship, the anorectic girls were less likely to think of themselves in terms of their communicativeness than the nonanorectic girls. Finally, an individual differences multidimensional scaling analysis indicated that in distinction from the two control groups, anorectic girls believed that their mothers evaluate them primarily on a dimension of competence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

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Appetite Depressants
Self Concept
Mothers
Nuclear Family
Internal-External Control
Ego
Individuality
Mental Competency
Spine
Psychology
Control Groups

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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Development of self-understanding in anorectic and nonanorectic adolescent girls. / Levitt, Mira Zamansky; Hart, Daniel.

In: Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Vol. 12, No. 3, 01.01.1991, p. 269-288.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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