The lived experiences of ethnic minorities and eating disorders: A phenomenological study

Date

2023-05

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Abstract

Eating Disorders are severe psychological diagnoses associated with poor body image, inappropriate eating behaviors, medical complications, and high mortality rates (Keel, 2016). Generalizations have often been made regarding the link between eating disorders and white, affluent women. This generalization leads to ethnic minorities being overlooked in the research and treatment of eating disorders (Pike et al., 2013; Root, 1990). This study examined the lived experiences of ethnic minorities with eating disorders. Through interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA), the study explored three primary research questions: 1) How would ethnic minorities describe their lived experiences with an eating disorder? 2) What does family and community support look like regarding their eating disorder? 3)How have they been impacted by westernization and acculturation regarding body image? Results indicated four superordinate themes: Lived experience of eating disorder, Cultural influence, Recognition and understanding, and Recovery journey. Clinical and research implications are discussed.

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Keywords

Eating Disorders, Ethnic Minorities, Lived Experiences

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