Disordered Society: Women in Eating Disorder Recovery Advise Policymakers on Change
This qualitative study draws on a photo-elicitation method (“PhotoVoice”) and semi-structured interviews to examine the key areas stakeholders (30 young women between the ages of 18 and 35 in eating disorder recovery) identify as meaningful venues of policy-based change. Photography and the accompanying narratives capturing personally-meaningful social, cultural, and systemic influences on recovery were shared with the research team. Photographs and interviews were examined for policy implications using thematic analysis, and six areas of improvement emerged: media, healthcare practice and access, health insurance reform, education, objectification of the female body, and mental health stigma. Implications for reform are discussed.
KeywordsEating disorder Policy Health insurance reform Media Objectification
This study was funded by the APA Division 35 Janet Hyde Graduate Student Research Grant.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
Jessica F. Saunders, Asia A. Eaton, and Stacy L. Frazier declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Written informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- American Psychological Association (2016). APA issues health care reform priorities for working with congress and new administration. Retrieved 20 March 2018 from https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2016/12/health-care-reform.aspx.
- Anna Westin Act (2015). United States Senate Bill Number 1865. 114th United States Congress (enacted).Google Scholar
- Calogero, R. M., Tantleff-Dunn, S. E., & Thompson, J. (2011). Objectification theory: An introduction. In R. M. Calogero, S. E. Tantleff-Dunn & J. Thompson (Eds.), Self-objectification in women: Causes, consequences, and counteractions (pp. 3–21). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
- Culbert, K. M., Racine, S. E., & Klump, K. L. (2015). Research Review: What we have learned about the causes of eating disorders–a synthesis of sociocultural, psychological, and biological research. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(11), 1141–1164. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12441.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Fredrickson, B. L., & Roberts, T. A. (1997). Objectification theory. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 21(2), 173–206.Google Scholar
- Hewitt, S. (2013). A time to heal: Eliminating barriers to coverage for patients with eating disorders under the Affordable Care Act. Law and Inequality, 31, 411–435.Google Scholar
- Kemmis, S., & McTaggart, R. (2005). Participatory action research: Communicative action and the public sphere. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (pp. 271–326). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
- McKinley, N. M., & Hyde, J. S. (1996). The objectified body consciousness scale: Development and validation. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 20(2), 181–215. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1471-6402.1996.tb00467.x.Google Scholar
- National Eating Disorder Association (2018). Insurance and legal issues. Retrieved from https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/insurance. Accessed 27 February 2018.
- Ridge, D. (2008). Recovery from depression using the narrative approach: A guide for doctors, complementary therapists and mental health professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Schoenwald, S. K., McHugh, R. K., & Barlow, D. H. (2012). The science of dissemination and implementation. In Dissemination and implementation of evidence-based psychological interventions (pp. 16–42). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.Google Scholar
- United Nations (1995). Harmful traditional practices affecting the health of women and children: Fact Sheet No. 23.Google Scholar
- Vetter, M. L., Herring, S. J., Sood, M., Shah, N. R., & Kalet, A. L. (2008). What do resident physicians know about nutrition? An evaluation of attitudes, self-perceived proficiency and knowledge. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 27(2), 287–298. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2008.10719702.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Whiteford, H. A., Degenhardt, L., Rehm, J., Baxter, A. J., Ferrari, A. J., Erskine, H. E., & Burstein, R. (2013). Global burden of disease attributable to mental and substance use disorders: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010. The Lancet, 382(9904), 1575–1586. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)61611-6.Google Scholar
- Wissinger, E. (2015). This year’s model: Fashion, media, and the making of glamour. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
- Yager, J., Devlin, M. J., Halmi, K. A., Herzog, D. B., Mitchell, J. E., Powers, P., & Zerbw, K. J. (2010). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with eating disorders (3rd edn). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric PublishingGoogle Scholar