• Zoriana Yaroslavivna Kovalchuk
Keywords: eating behavior, addiction, anorexia, bulimia, obesity, food addiction


The purpose of the article is to find out the psychological aspects of eating disorders and to empirically investigate these features in women with food addiction. The article describes the peculiarities of women’s eating behavior and its disorders, which are related to the value attitude to food and its consumption, the stereotype of eating in habitual and stressful situations, orientation to the image of one's body and activities for its formation. Its main violations are nervous (neurotic, psychogenic) anorexia and nervous (neurotic, psychogenic) bulimia. Both disorders are characterized by common signs: dominance of the problem of own weight; distortion of the image of one’s body; change in nutrition value in the value hierarchy.

Methods. In the part of the empirical study of the article the author used the following techniques: individual typological questionnaire L. M. Sobchik (ITQ); self-questioning questionnaire Stolin; “Who am I?” methodology by M. Kuhn and T. MacPartland; questionnaire “Do I have a food addiction?”

Results. Psychological features of persons with eating disorders are low self-esteem, dominance of depressed mood, hysterical manifestations, a tendency to loneliness, increased demand for self and others in combination with selfishness, detachment from the collective, fixation on the need to hide their tendencies to accumulation, perfectionism, compensation for lack in one area of achievement in another, and so on. According to the results of empirical research, the “self-concept” of food addiction is diffuse, insufficiently differentiated. The dependent person is unable to calmly and with dignity acknowledge the fact of his imperfection, to accept that his real “self” is different from the ideal. Individuals with eating disorders do not have a good understanding of their own value system, work with the mapping of values is impaired, and pseudo-values and qualities of the main pseudo-value - agent of dependence. For a food addict, the addictive agent is food.

Conclusions. Correlation analysis of the study revealed a number of significant correlations: positive links of lability with self-interest, self-confidence; self-blame with an addiction scale; anxiety with addiction. Negative associations of the respondent’s age with self-blame were identified; dependence on autosympathy, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-understanding, self-management; self-acceptance scales with addiction, self-management; the scale of spontaneity with addiction; self-interest agitation scales. The low level of differentiation of identities of the subjects may indicate a crisis of identity, seclusion, anxiety, uncertainty, difficulties in control. As for the physical self (physical data and appearance), in the self-descriptions of the addicts they are “unpleasant”, “unattractive”. Most activities, interests, hobbies, activities are related to food, its intake and a rest (“well-cooked”, “television lover”).


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