Using Pat Gibbons 2001 study as a reference, outlined below is the relationship between eating disorders and socio-economic status. Gibbons study corroborated the findings of researchers who dispelled Fenwiks supposition. However, he also uncovered that socioeconomic status played an insignificant role in predisposing individuals to developing eating disorders. According to results from Gibbons study, females from lower social classes recorded higher incidents of eating disorders (Gibbons, 2001).
Eating disorders afflict individuals regardless of gender; however, it is more prevalent among females. The revised fifth edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM-V) classifies eating disorders into various categories outlining symptoms specific to each type. This makes it easier for mental health practitioners to distinguish between the different eating disorders when diagnosing clients. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common eating disorders characterized by the irrational fear of gaining weight. However, anorexics and bulimics differ in the steps they undertake to avoid gaining weight. Anorexics starve themselves whereas, bulimics binge eat then engage in compensatory behaviors to purge what they ate; for example, they induce vomiting or use laxatives (NEDA).
Psychologists attribute eating disorders to maladjustment in an individuals personality. The word personality refers to specific traits unique to an individual that remain constant across different situations. The psychosocial developmental theory advanced by Erik Erickson describes miletones specific to each developmental stage, which all children must accomplish in order to become well adjuted adults. According to him, an individual develops their self- identity during adolescence, whereby failure to resolves the crisis at this stage leads to confusion (AACAP, 2013). A confused identity translates into a weak self-eteem,