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The role of pride in women with anorexia nervosa: A grounded theory study

Faija, Cintia L., Tierney, Stephanie, Gooding, Patricia A., Peters, Sarah and Fox, John R. E. 2017. The role of pride in women with anorexia nervosa: A grounded theory study. Psychology and Psychotherapy- Theory Research and Practice 90 (4) , pp. 567-585. 10.1111/papt.12125

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Objective: Theory and clinical literature suggest that pride may play an important role in the maintenance of restrictive eating disorders. A grounded theory study explored experiences of, and reflections on, pride among women with a current or past diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. Design: This is a qualitative study using grounded theory. Method: Semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 women recruited from an eating disorder unit in England, and from a UK self‐help organization. Grounded theory from a constructivist lens was used. Analysis involved coding, constant comparison, and memo‐writing. Results: Pride evolves over the course of anorexia nervosa. Two overarching conceptual categories were identified: ‘pride becoming intertwined with anorexia’ and ‘pride during the journey towards recovery’. These categories encompassed different forms of pride: ‘alluring pride’, ‘toxic pride’, ‘pathological pride’, ‘anorexia pride’, ‘shameful pride’, ‘recovery pride’, and ‘resilient pride’. Initially, pride contributed to self‐enhancement and buffered negative emotions. As the condition progressed, pride became a challenge to health and interfered with motivation to change. During recovery, perceptions of pride altered as a healthy approach to living ensued. Conclusions The evolving nature of pride plays a central role in development, maintenance, and treatment of anorexia nervosa. Understanding of pride and its role in psychotherapeutic work with this client group may increase motivation to change and promote recovery. Future work should investigate whether tackling pride in eating disorders increases treatment efficacy and reduces the risk of relapsing.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Blackwell
ISSN: 1476-0835
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2019 08:56

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