Disordered Eating In First-year Undergraduate Students

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Disordered eating in first-yearundergraduate studentsDeveloping support mechanisms and healthpromoting outreachDr John J PowerThe School of Nursing & MidwiferyQueen’s UniversityBelfast

Theoretical Basis Positive Psychology Spectrum theory Liminality Salutogenesis

Context Disordered eating represents anover focus on body shape andweight with abnormal and disruptedattitudes to food patterns andeating(Quick and Byrd-Bredbenner2013) Can form part of the spectrum ofdisturbed eating patterns andbehaviours with evidence ofsignificant disability (clinicalanorexia nervosa, Bulimia etc.)(Sanlier et al. 2008; Dissing etal.2011). Or as subclinical and possiblyconcealed but with significantpsychological social andphysiological risk (Boyd 2006;Sanlier et al. 2008; Dissing etal.2011)

Stigma & Concealment Disordered Eating like classiceating disorders caries a stigma Concealment Non-disclosure (Eisenberg et al.2011)

Figures Perhaps 90% of disordered eatingoccurs in individuals up to 25yrs(Sanlier et al. 2008)Studies suggest variation Simon- Boyd and Bieschke (2003),suggest possibly 36.6% of samplereflected evidence of disorderedeating Eisenberg et al. (2011) possibly13.5% (F) 3.6%(M) college studentsreflected eating disorder symptoms. Petrie et al. (2008) suggestedevidence of disrupted eatingpatterns/disordered eating amongstalmost 20% of the undergraduatemale student population

The Study A qualitative study exploringdisordered eating in a small groupof first-year undergraduatestudents studying for professionalhealth care related degrees Nursing , midwifery and medicalstudents (n 12) Illustrating what supportmechanisms and services arerequired for those 1st yearstudents experiencing or at risk.

Methodology In-depth Interviews Thematic analysis Narrative analysis Conceptual Framework drawnfrom theory of Salutogenesis A sense of Coherence Comprehensibility Manageability Meaningfulness

Salutogenesis Salutogenesis addressees ourunderstanding of health , healthoutreach and health promotion Focuses within the positivepromotion of health (includingmental health)and Building Resilience With emphasis less on pathogenesisand more on the social matrix whichsustains, supports or helps torestore a sense of health andwellbeing (Antonovsky1984;1996) Equipping for The River of Life’

A Sense of Coherence Salutogenesis in developing and sustaininga SOC uses social, psychological andcultural resources to promote health and toresist illness; which Antonovsky (1979) Generalised Resistance Resources (GRRs). The extent of an individual's sense ofcoherence is substantially reflected in theirGRR’s Antonovsky (1979) . Include material resources, cognitive,emotional and interpersonal resources(including knowledge and understandingand their sense of self (their ego identity)and their inter-social and inter-relationalattachments and support. The development of a strong SOC reflectsthe growth of GRR’s within the individual(Antonovsky 1979;1993).

Comprehensibility Comprehensibility reflects anindividual’s sense ofcomprehension andunderstanding of significantissues in healthand Their lived experience,together with An internalized assurance/reassurance of a sense of existingorder and social balance(Antonovsky 1996; Johnson 2004;Darling et al. 2007; Sanftner2011).

Manageability Manageability reflects a particularfocus upon the individual’sperception, understanding andsense of control. Manageability also reflects anindividual’s response to stressorsand an individual's access to andchoice of coping skills and copingsupport. Coping support is significantlyreflective of prior experience andperceptions of the supportivematrix in which an individual mightfind themselves at a particularlystressful period (Antonovsky 1987;1996; Cilliers and Kossuth 2002).

Meaningfulness Meaningfulness reflects life ashaving a sense of purpose that itis understandable, That the individual has value andprimacyand There is real worth in theindividual investing time andresources into significantchallenges (Antonovsky 1979;1987; 1996).

STAGE 1STAGE 2STAGE 3STAGE 4THEORYCONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORKEMERGENT THEMESEMERGENT SUBTHEMES ANDCATEGORIESComprehensibilityComprehension and insightThe experienceUnderstandingPre-existing nce or pathologyImbalancePathologyBody ImageManageabilityManageability and controlControlStress and copingSalutogenesis anda Sense gorThe familyThe public perceptiondrivingManageability-disclosureThe prior experienceand impactDisclosureLabellingAcademically andprofessionallyManageability-andsupportEmotional supportSupportingenvironmentSupporting outreachMeaningfulnessMeaningfulness- towards aPositive challengemore salutogenic responseMeaningfulness-Positive experiencesupporting the contextThe Conceptual Framework-Undergraduate Students and Disordered Eating

Psychiatry or psychology The 1st year and significant stress Pre-existing drivers Mad or troubled/struggling Control, Chronic Stressand Disordered Eating (NICE 2004:BEAT2014) Early outreach A sense of wellbeing Positive psychology (Seligman andCsikszentmihalyi 2000) University the 1st year and a LiminalOpportunity

Key issues emerging Lack of understanding to the nature/risksassociated with disordered eating The use of disordered eating as a stresscoping mechanism Stress & Isolation Disordered eating perceived negatively asa mental health issue carried stigma andreticence to acknowledge being wary ofthe academic/ professional consequences. Possibly reflected in a sometimesconcealed /sub-clinical experience. Students wary of eating in more publicrefectories. Students felt very positive about theirarrival at universityand That their experience with disorderedeating could potentially add to theirrepertoire as future health careprofessionals.

Impact ! On self On first and later years ofstudy Unstable self image/selfefficacy Waste of resources Scholarly focus Acute /chronic stress

The University could Further develop its outreach to new studentswith a more consistently supportive programincluding stress training and more support viastudent buddying Enhance education/awareness of studentsupport facilities particularly in terms ofmental health stressors/resilience and theassurance of confidentiality Extend its program on positive mentalhealth to reduce a sense of stigma withinthe student population Consistent more training in theunderstanding and person- centeredapproach to students experiencingdisordered eating, particularly the subclinical group Consider some small changes andadaptations to the refectory eating areas tobetter facilitate at-risk students. Finally the University could perhaps betteruse the first few months of student's arrivalat university to help embed a program todevelop a stronger sense of coherence andwellbeing.

Reference ListAntonovsky, A. (1979) Health, stress and coping. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Antonovsky, A. (1984b) The sense of coherence as a determinant of health. InMatarazzo, J.D. Weiss, S.M. Herd, J.A. Miller, M.E. and Weiss S.M (Eds.),Behavioural Health: a handbook of health enhancement and diseaseprevention (pp. 114-129). New York: Wiley Interscience.Antonovsky, A. (1987) Unravelling the mystery of health: how people managestress and stay well. San Fransisco: Josey-Bass.Antonovsky, A. (1993) The structure and properties of the sense of coherencescale. Social Science and Medicine, 36, 725-733.Antonovsky, A. (1996) The salutogenic model as a theory to guide healthpromotion. Health Promotion International, 11: 11-18.Boyd, C. (2006) "Coping and Emotional Intelligence in Women with a Historyof Eating Disordered Behaviour," McNair Scholars Journal: 10 (1): 4-12.Cilliers, F. and Kossuth, S. (2002) The relationship between organisationalclimate and salutogenic functioning. South African Journal of IndustrialPsychology, 28: 8-13.Darling C.A. McWey L.M. Howard S.N. and Olmstead S.B. (2007) Collegestudent stress: the influence of interpersonal relationships on sense ofcoherence, Stress and Health 23: 215-229.Dissing A.S., Bak N.H., Pedersen L.E. and Petersson B.H.(2011) Femalmedicalstudents are estimated to have a higher risk for developing eating disordersthan male medical students. Danish Medical Bulletin, 58(1):207.Eisenberg D. Nicklett E.J., Roeder K.M. and Kirz, N. (2011) Eating DisorderSymptoms among College Students: Prevalence, Persistence, Correlates, andTreatment-seeking. Journal of American College Health 59(8): 700-7.Johnson M. (2004) Approaching the Salutogenesis of sense of coherence: Therole of active self-esteem and coping, British Journal of Health Psychology, 9:419-432.Petrie T.A. Greenleaf C. Reel J. and Carter J (2008) Prevalence of EatingDisorders and Disordered Eating Behaviours Among Male Collegiate Athletes.Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 9(4): 267-277Quick V.M. and Byrd-Bredbenner C. (2013) Disturbed eating behaviours andassociated psychographic characteristics of college students. Journal ofHuman Nutrition and Dietetics 26(1): 53-63Sanlier, N., Yabanci, N., and Alyakut, O. (2008) An evaluation of eatingdisorders among a group of Turkish university students. Appetite 51(3): 641645.Simon-Boyd G. Bieschke. J.K. (2003) predicting eating disorder continuumgroups: hardness and college adjustment, Poster Presentation AnnualConference of the American Psychological Association. Available lmini.jsp? nfpb true&&ERICExtSearch SearchValue 0 ED480488&ERICExtSearch SearchType 0 no&accno ED480488Ruggiero GM, (accessed 2 4 2013).

Queen’s University BelfastTHANK YOU & OURBEST WISHES !

Issues How to relabel mental distressrather than mental illness Addressing stigma and thestudent population Building an early stage resiliencein the young undergraduate The public health outreach toyoung students

Disorders and Disordered Eating Behaviours Among Male Collegiate Athletes. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 9(4): 267-277 Quick V.M. and Byrd-Bredbenner C. (2013) Disturbed eating behaviours and associated psyc

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