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An Exploration of Social Functioning in Young People with Eating Disorders: A Qualitative Study

Patel, K; Tchanturia, K; Harrison, A; (2016) An Exploration of Social Functioning in Young People with Eating Disorders: A Qualitative Study. PLOS ONE , 11 (7) , Article e0159910. 10.1371/journal.pone.0159910. Green open access

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Abstract

Previous research indicates adults with eating disorders (EDs) report smaller social networks, and difficulties with social functioning, alongside demonstrating difficulties recognising and regulating emotions in social contexts. Concurrently, those recovered from the illness have discussed the vital role offered by social support and interaction in their recovery. To date, little is known about the social skills and social networks of adolescents with EDs and this study aimed to conduct focus groups to explore the social functioning of 17 inpatients aged 12–17. Data were analysed using thematic analysis and six core themes were identified: group belonging, self-monitoring, social sensitivity, impact of hospitalisation, limited coping strategies and strategies for service provision. Key areas for service provision were: management of anxiety, development and/or maintenance of a social network and development of inter and intrapersonal skills. The most salient finding was that adolescents with EDs reported social difficulties which appeared to persist over and above those typically experienced at this point in the lifespan and therefore a key area for future focus is the development of appropriate coping strategies and solutions to deal with these reported difficulties.

Type: Article
Title: An Exploration of Social Functioning in Young People with Eating Disorders: A Qualitative Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159910
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0159910
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 Patel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Enduring Anorexia-Nervosa, Appearance Anxiety Scale, Bulimia-Nervosa, Maintaining Factors, Maintenance Model, Adolescents, Recovery, Metaanalysis, Comorbidity, Prevalence
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045760
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