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The impact of self-imagery on aspects of the self-concept in individuals with high levels of eating disorder cognitions

The impact of self-imagery on aspects of the self-concept in individuals with high levels of eating disorder cognitions
The impact of self-imagery on aspects of the self-concept in individuals with high levels of eating disorder cognitions

Background and objectives: low self-esteem has been identified as a maintaining factor in Cognitive Behavioural models of eating disorders and links have been identified between early memories, negative core beliefs and mental imagery. This study explored the impact of positive and negative self-imagery on aspects of the working self (implicit and explicit self-esteem, self-concept clarity and self-discrepancy) and affect. 

Methods: participants with high levels of eating disorder cognitions completed measures of explicit self-esteem, self-concept clarity, self-discrepancy and affect prior to completing a positive or negative self-imagery retrieval task. Baseline measures were then repeated and a measure of implicit self-esteem completed. 

Results: Positive self-imagery retrieval led to a significant increase in positive explicit self-esteem and a significant reduction in negative explicit self-esteem and actual-ideal self-discrepancies. Negative self-imagery retrieval led to a significant increase in negative explicit self-esteem and actual-ideal self-discrepancies and a significant reduction in positive explicit self-esteem. Levels of implicit self-esteem did not differ between the two groups post imagery manipulation. Retrieving a positive self-image also led to an improvement in state self-concept clarity; however, no effect was found for the negative self-imagery intervention. Holding a positive self-image in mind led to an increase in state positive affect and a reduction in state negative affect. The opposite was found for negative self-image retrieval. Limitations: The study did not measure implicit self-esteem at baseline. 

Conclusions: imagery techniques that involve the retrieval of a positive self-image may help to improve aspects of the working-self and affect in those with eating difficulties.

0005-7916
7-13
Harlowe, Jodie
553f8931-396a-495b-b8b5-8f0200042c2f
Farrar, Stephanie
594b8bca-c691-436e-8725-27be43d4f1c6
Stopa, Lusia
b52f29fc-d1c2-450d-b321-68f95fa22c40
Turner, Hannah
11575e72-c15d-4a0a-99c7-9b1782ba96e2
Harlowe, Jodie
553f8931-396a-495b-b8b5-8f0200042c2f
Farrar, Stephanie
594b8bca-c691-436e-8725-27be43d4f1c6
Stopa, Lusia
b52f29fc-d1c2-450d-b321-68f95fa22c40
Turner, Hannah
11575e72-c15d-4a0a-99c7-9b1782ba96e2

Harlowe, Jodie, Farrar, Stephanie, Stopa, Lusia and Turner, Hannah (2018) The impact of self-imagery on aspects of the self-concept in individuals with high levels of eating disorder cognitions. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 61, 7-13. (doi:10.1016/j.jbtep.2018.05.002).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background and objectives: low self-esteem has been identified as a maintaining factor in Cognitive Behavioural models of eating disorders and links have been identified between early memories, negative core beliefs and mental imagery. This study explored the impact of positive and negative self-imagery on aspects of the working self (implicit and explicit self-esteem, self-concept clarity and self-discrepancy) and affect. 

Methods: participants with high levels of eating disorder cognitions completed measures of explicit self-esteem, self-concept clarity, self-discrepancy and affect prior to completing a positive or negative self-imagery retrieval task. Baseline measures were then repeated and a measure of implicit self-esteem completed. 

Results: Positive self-imagery retrieval led to a significant increase in positive explicit self-esteem and a significant reduction in negative explicit self-esteem and actual-ideal self-discrepancies. Negative self-imagery retrieval led to a significant increase in negative explicit self-esteem and actual-ideal self-discrepancies and a significant reduction in positive explicit self-esteem. Levels of implicit self-esteem did not differ between the two groups post imagery manipulation. Retrieving a positive self-image also led to an improvement in state self-concept clarity; however, no effect was found for the negative self-imagery intervention. Holding a positive self-image in mind led to an increase in state positive affect and a reduction in state negative affect. The opposite was found for negative self-image retrieval. Limitations: The study did not measure implicit self-esteem at baseline. 

Conclusions: imagery techniques that involve the retrieval of a positive self-image may help to improve aspects of the working-self and affect in those with eating difficulties.

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Accepted/In Press date: 7 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 8 May 2018
Published date: 1 December 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 422027
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/422027
ISSN: 0005-7916
PURE UUID: cac09417-2179-4b0f-97fe-50d682bff5c6

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Date deposited: 12 Jul 2018 16:31
Last modified: 07 Oct 2020 06:36

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