Cognitive and Behavioral Approaches to the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Janet Sasson Edgette
  • Maurice F. Prout


Anorexia nervosa can be a devastating illness resulting in physical impoverishment and grossly impaired psychosocial functioning. It is characterized primarily by a refusal to eat a sufficient amount of food to sustain an adequate level of nourishment (Slade, 1982). One diagnostic criterion is the maintenance of weight at least 25% below the norm for one’s age (American Psychiatric Association, 1980). Such extensive weight loss plays havoc with a body that is often already under the physiological stress of puberty. Disturbed attitudes toward eating, manifested in preoccupations with food and peculiar patterns of handling food, is another noted feature of the disorder (Cooper & Fairburn, 1984; Garner, 1986; Garner & Bemis, 1982; Halmi, 1982; McFarlane, Bellissimo, & Upton, 1982; Muuss, 1985). Other features include intense fears of weight gain, behaviors directed toward weight loss, excessive physical activity, disturbances in body image, and, in females, amenorrhea (Halmi, 1982; Kissel & Arkins, 1973; Minuchin, Rosman, & Baker, 1978; Muuss, 1985; Slade, 1982).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Sasson Edgette
    • 1
  • Maurice F. Prout
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mental Health SciencesHahnemann UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Graduate Clinical PsychologyWidener UniversityChesterUSA

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