"Anorexia Nervosa cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by any single model of abnormality" - discuss

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Lena Tran: PSY7

“Anorexia Nervosa cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by any single model of abnormality”

Anorexia is a condition disputed by psychologists in attempts to find a cause for the problem. Anorexia is when an individual chooses to emaciate themselves in order to be thin. There are two main types of reasoning behind such behaviour. The biological and psychological explanation. Of course, there are many forms of branched out explanations within these, and the two of which that I shall be exploring are the genetic justification (in terms of biological) and the behaviourist approach, for the psychological relation.

Biological psychologists believe that human behaviour and what makes us do what we do, is all down to genes. With the new advance in recent science, genes are becoming a more popular reasoning to many psychological issues. Anorexia nervosa for one. The genetic approach proclaims that the cause for anorexia is to do with genes: i.e. the genetic and inherited factors we have within our relations. The idea is that should one family member suffer from an eating disorder, then there is a higher chance that another family member (preferably those who share the same, or like genes) would contract an eating, or another obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Holland et al, a group of psychologists, lead a study on the genetic link of anorexia nervosa in 1984. They perused a sample of 34 pairs of twins and one set of triplets, where at least one twin in each pair suffered from anorexia. They found a higher concordance rate of 55% for the 16 monozygotic twins (who share 100% of the same genes) than for the 14 pairs of dizygotic twins, (who share 50% of the same genes) with a concordance rate of only 7%. The results, in imprecise terms, suggested that there was a genetic link between family ...

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