Date of Award

7-25-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Clinical Psychology (MSCP)

Committee Chair

Katherine A. Elder, PhD

Abstract

Eating disorders have increased drastically in recent decades. They are also the deadliest of all psychological disorders. To date, research has elucidated successful treatment procedures for particular eating disorders (e.g., Binge Eating Disorder and Bulimia Nervosa), but struggled to identify efficacious treatment for others (e.g., Anorexia Nervosa). Eating disorders are often accompanied by serious health repercussions, making treatment efficacy and efficiency more imperative. Up until recently, research on eating disorders has focused almost solely on Caucasian, middle-class females. However, recent research indicates eating disorders are also prevalent in minority groups, and treatment specifications for these groups are limited. It is an ethical responsibility to provide the best care to clients, and without proper cultural consideration for minority groups and subsequent tailored interventions, minorities will continue to receive subpar care. This paper reviews etiological factors for eating disorders, identifies current treatment standards, and suggests cultural influences that may impact treatment among females.

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