Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Risk of disordered eating is high amongst college women in the U.S., often resulting in negative outcomes with regard to health, social functioning and psychological well-being. Disordered eating is associated with multiple aspects of emotional processing, such as emotion regulation, negative affect, and avoidance. Emotional processing difficulties can be addressed with both exposure techniques and mindfulness, which involves present moment awareness with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment. Interventions using mirror exposure (standing before a mirror and systematically describing the body) to treat disordered eating and body image, particularly those utilizing aspects of mindfulness, show promise in terms of improving outcomes above and beyond standard therapeutic treatment; however, there is limited research demonstrating this effect. In the present study, undergraduate women (N = 52) who endorsed moderate or greater body shape concern were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Mirror Exposure alone (ME), a combined Mindfulness Meditation and Mirror Exposure Group (MME), or a no treatment control group (NT). All participants returned after one week to complete follow-up questionnaires. Two mixed repeated-measures analyses of variances (ANOVAs) were conducted to test hypotheses regarding the impact of time and group differences. It was hypothesized that both active groups would demonstrate improvements in disordered eating and body shape concern, across time, and results were consistent with hypotheses. However, there were no significant differences when compared to the NT group, and no significant interactions between group and time. While participants improved across time, the intervention did not exceed the effect of the control group. Therefore, the changes seen may not have been attributable to the intervention, but to other factors.
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Kinsaul, Jessica Abaigeal Esmeier, "Effects of Mirror Exposure and Brief Mindfulness Interventions in Undergraduate Females with Weight and Shape Concerns" (2015). LSU Doctoral Dissertations. 556.