papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Encyclopedia of Psychology Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Editor-in-Chief


Denial of the severity of their illness is common, as is refusal to seek treatment. Two subtypes of the disorder are recognized: a restricting type in which the individual does not engage in binge eating or purging, and a binge eating/purging type in which the individual regularly engages in binge eating and purging such as inducing vomiting, or misusing laxatives or diuretics. About half of all patients with anorexia nervosa are pure restrictors, while the remaining half are purgers, although some studies suggest that the proportion of purging anorexics is increasing. Only about 5% of patients with anorexia nervosa are male.

Populations at particular risk of developing the disorder include: athletes, ballet dancers, and those from the higher social classes. These populations share a demand for high performance coupled with a high demand to maintain a thin body shape. However, the disorder is now seen in all social classes and in all ethnic groups.

From a psychosocial viewpoint individuals with anorexia nervosa are often high achievers who are markedly perfectionistic. The disorder is accompanied by socia1 withdrawal, restricted interpersonal relationships, and often an avoidance of heterosocial relationships. It has been suggested that the disorder is a faulty way of coping, by avoidance, with the new and anxiety provoking interpersonal demands that emerge in adolescence. The emaciation to some extent protects the individual against the anxiety engendered by heterosocial relationships by returning the young woman to a more asexual form.

Anorexia nervosa usually begins in adolescence with the greatest number of cases presenting in two peaks at 14 and 18 years of age


As a discipline, anthropology is concerned with the varied spatiotemporal manifestations of the human species. Four subdisciplines of the field are conventionally recognized: biological anthropology, archaeology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology.

spatiotemporal manifestations...

In archeology, focus on reconstruction of the customs of past peoples is supplemented by an interest in the processes involved in cultural change. Some of these processes appear to be related to organizational requirements: for example, the tendency for early city-states to exert political and military control over broad areas, with accompanying trade benefits, technological specialization, and social stability and stratification. But along with this adaptational emphasis, there has been a recent attempt to understand some of the characteristics of early Mexican civilization as a consequence of individual actions of forceful, charismatic leaders (Joyce Marcus and Kent V. Flannery, How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley, New York, 1996). In this interpretation, the self-serving behavior of certain leaders. in trying to advance their positions, created changes ranging from the material to political power to ideologies that attributed a supernatural ancestry to them and subsequently to their descendants. Periods of relative stability would typically follow on the rapid changes instigated by these leaders. The similarity of stage sequences among ancient civilizations, and the possible contributions to that similarity by individual motivational and cognitive factors, would seem to offer a challenge in which psychologists can usefully aid the efforts of archaeologists.

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