Exploring the interaction of emotional intelligence and coping in the development of eating disorders

by Yolanda Mitchell

Institution: University of South Africa
Year: 2014
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa; Bulimia nervosa; Coping; Eating disorders; Emotional intelligence; Expression of emotion; Identification of emotion; Perception of emotion; Psychological disorder; Regulation of emotion
Record ID: 1475754
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10500/14488


Eating disorders remain a phenomenon that escapes full comprehension, resulting in frustration for those who suffer from the disorders, their families, and their therapists. It is becoming increasingly necessary to describe the mechanism by which eating disorders develop, in order to effectively treat and prevent these disorders. The aim of this study was to illuminate factors that contributed to the development of eating disorders within the individual contexts of the lives of the participants, as well as how those factors interacted in context to culminate in the development of an eating disorder. This qualitative study was conducted from an interpretive perspective. The findings show how individual contextual factors interact to produce a marked fear of gaining weight, which is driven by fear of negative evaluation, and that the eating disorder behaviour serves specific functions that are related to coping with stress within the lives of the participants.