Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

How Can Social Mentality Theory Help Us Understand Eating Disorder Presentations? A Scoping Review

  • Georgina Mullen (a1) (a2) (a3) and Gary O'Reilly (a1)

Abstract

This scoping review used social mentality theory (SMT) as a framework to identify and integrate relevant eating disorder systematic reviews and meta-analyses. A systematic search of the PsycINFO database was conducted, using terms from SMT and eating disorder literature. Eighteen systematic reviews met the inclusion criteria. Findings suggest that those with eating disorders also experience a number of relationship difficulties, in childhood and/or adulthood, related to attachment style, caregiver experiences, family functioning, social rank, social cognition, and self-compassion. The identification of these social difficulties is established in the eating disorder literature. SMT can provide a theoretical framework to understand how evolved motives to relate to others may contribute to these difficulties.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Georgina Mullen, University College Dublin, School of Psychology, Belfield, Dublin, Ireland. Email: georgina.mullen@ucdconnect.ie

References

Hide All

References marked with an asterisk indicate studies included in the review.

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
*Anastasiadou, D., Medina-Pradas, C., Sepulveda, A.R., & Treasure, J. (2014). A systematic review of family caregiving in eating disorders. Eating Behaviors, 15, 464477.
*Arcelus, J., Haslam, M., Farrow, C., & Meyer, C. (2013). The role of interpersonal functioning in the maintenance of eating psychopathology: A systematic review and testable model. Clinical Psychology Review, 33, 156167.
*Arcelus, J., Yates, A., & Whiteley, R. (2012). Romantic relationships, clinical and sub-clinical eating disorders: A review of the literature. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 27, 147161.
Arksey, H., & O'Malley, L. (2005). Scoping studies: Towards a methodological framework. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18, 1932.
*Bora, E., & Kose, S. (2016). Meta-analysis of theory of mind in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: A specific impairment of cognitive perspective taking in anorexia nervosa? International Journal of Eating Disorders, 49, 739749.
*Bornstein, R.F. (2001). A meta-analysis of the dependency-eating disorders relationship: Strength, specificity, and temporal stability. Journal of Psychopathology and behavioral assessment, 23, 151162.
Bowles, T., Kurlender, M., & Hellings, B. (2011). Family functioning and family stage associated with patterns of disordered eating in adult females. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist, 28, 4760.
*Braun, T.D., Park, C.L., & Gorin, A. (2016). Self-compassion, body image, and disordered eating: A review of the literature. Body Image, 17, 117131.
Buss, D.M. (2005). The handbook of evolutionary psychology. Wiley.
*Bundock, L., Howard, L.M., Trevillion, K., Malcom, E., Feder, G., & Oram, S. (2013). Prevalence and risk of experiences of intimate partner violence among people with eating disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 47, 11341142.
*Caglar-Nazali, H.P., Corfield, F., Cardi, V., Ambwani, S., Leppanen, J., Olabintan, O., … Treasure, J. (2014). A systematic review and meta-analysis of ‘Systems for Social Processes’ in eating disorders. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 42, 5592.
*Caslini, M., Bartoli, F., Crocamo, C., Dakanalis, A., Clerici, M., & Carra, G. (2016). Psychosomatic Medicine, 78, 7990.
Cozolino, L. (2014). The neuroscience of human relationships: Attachment and the developing social brain (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Norton.
Crow, S.J., Peterson, C.B., Swanson, S.A., Raymond, N.C., Specker, S., Eckert, E.D., & Mitchell, J.E. (2009). Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 13421346.
*DeJong, H., van den Eynde, F., Broadbent, H., Kenyon, M.D., Lavender, A., Startup, H., & Schmidt, U. (2013). Social cognition in bulimia nervosa: A systematic review. European Psychiatry, 28, 16.
Dinsdale, N., Mokkonen, M., & Crespi, B. (2016). The ‘extremem female brain’: Increased cognitive empathy as a dimension of psychopathology. Evolution and Human Behaviour, 37, 323336.
Dixon-Woods, M., Cavers, D., Agarwal, S., Annandale, E., Arthur, A., Harvey, J., … Sutton, A.J. (2006). Conducting a critical interpretive synthesis of the literature on access to healthcare by vulnerable groups. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 6, 35.
Fariburn, C.G., Cooper, Z., Doll, H.A., O'Connor, M.E., Bohn, K., Hawker, D.M., … Palmer, R.L. (2009). Transdiagnostic cognitive behavioural therapy for patients with eating disorders: A two-site trial with 60-week follow-up. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 311319.
Farstad, S.M., McGeown, L.M., & von Ranson, K.M. (2016). Eating disorders and personality, 2004–2016: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review, 46, 91105.
Fernandez, S., & Pritchard, M. (2012). Relationships between self-esteem, media influence and drive for thinness. Eating Behaviours, 13, 321325.
Fonagy, P., Luyten, P., Moulton-Perkins, A., Lee, Y., Warren, F., Howard, S., … Lowyck, B. (2016). Development and validation of a self-report measure of mentalizing: The Reflective Functioning Questionnaire. PLOS ONE, 128.
Fonagy, P., Target, M., Steele, H., & Steele, M. (1998). Reflective Functioning Scale manual. Unpublished manuscript, London.
*Gale, C.J., Cluett, E.R., & Laver-Bradbury, C. (2013). A review of the father-child relationship in the development and maintenance of adolescent anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing, 36, 4869.
Gale, C., Gilbert, P., Read, N., & Goss, K. (2014). An evaluation of the impact of introducing compassion focused therapy to a standard treatment programme for people with eating disorders. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21, 112.
Galsworthy-Francis, L., & Allan, S. (2014). Cognitive behavioural therapy for anorexia nervosa: A systematic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 34, 5472.
Gilbert, P. (1989). Human nature and suffering. Hove, UK: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Gilbert, P. (1995). Biopsychosocial approaches and evolutionary as aids to integration in clinical psychology and psychotherapy. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2, 135156.
Gilbert, P. (2005). Social mentalities: A biopsychosocial and evolutionary reflection on social relationships. In Baldwin, M.W. (Ed.), Interpersonal cognition (pp. 299335). New York, NY: Guilford.
Gilbert, P. (2010). Compassion focused therapy: Distinctive features. London: Routledge.
Gilbert, N. (2009). Disclosure of eating disorders and subsequent help seeking. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham University, UK.
Gilbert, P. (2014). The origins and nature of compassion focused therapy. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 53, 641.
Gilbert, P. (2015). The evolution and social dynamics of compassion. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 9, 239254.
Gilbert, P., Broomhead, C., Irons, C., McEwan, K., Bellew, R., Mills, A., … Knibb, R. (2007). Development of a striving to avoid inferiority scale. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46, 633648.
Gilbert, P., McEwan, K., Irons, C., Broomhead, C., Bellew, R., Mills, A., … Gale, C. (2009). The dark side of competitions: How competitive behavior and striving to avoid inferiority are linked to depression, anxiety, stress and self-harm. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 82, 123136.
Goss, K. & Allan, S. (2010). Compassion focused therapy for eating disorders. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 3, 141158
Goss, K., & Gilbert, P. (2002). Eating disorders, shame and pride: A cognitive-behavioral functional analysis. In Gilbert, P. & Miles, J. (Eds.), Body shame: Conceptualization, research & treatment. Hove, UK: Brunner-Routledge
Hay, P. (2013). A systematic review of evidence for psychological treatments in eating disorders: 2005–2012. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 46, 462469.
*Holtom-Viesel, A., & Allan, S. (2014). A systematic review of the literature on family functioning across all eating disorder diagnoses in compassion to control families. Clinical Psychology Review, 34, 2943.
Henry, J.D., Cowan, D.G., Lee, T., & Sachdev, P.S. (2015). Recent trends in testing social cognition. Current Opinions in Psychiatry, 28, 133140.
Het, S., Vocks, S., Wolf, J.M., Hammelstein, P., Herpertz, S., & Wolf, O.T. (2015). Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 78, 260267.
Huke, V., Turk, J., Saeidi, S., Kent, A., & Morgan, J.F. (2013). Autism spectrum disorders in eating disorder populations: A systematic review. European Eating Disorders Review, 21, 345351.
*Jewell, T., Collyer, H., Gardener, T., Tchanturia, K., Simic, M., Fonagy, P., & Eisler, I. (2016). Attachment and metallization and their association with child and adolescent eating pathology: A systematic review. International Journal of Eating Disorder, 49, 354373.
*Jones, A., Lindekilde, N., Lubeck, M., & Clausen, L. (2015). The association between interpersonal problems and treatment outcome in the eating disorder: A systematic review. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 69, 563573.
Johnstone, L., Boyle, M., with Cromby, J., Dillon, J., Harper, D., Kinderman, P., Longden, E., Pilgrim, D., & Read, J. (2018). The power threat meaning framework: Towards the identification of patterns in emotional distress, unusual experiences and troubled or troubling behaviour, as an alternative to functional psychiatric diagnosis. Leicester, UK: British Psychological Society.
Kelly, A.C., Carter, J.C., & Borairi, S. (2014). Are improvements in shame and self-compassion early in eating disorder treatment associated with better patient outcomes? International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47, 5464.
Kelly, A.C., Zuroff, D.C., Foa, C.L., & Gilbert, P. (2010). Who benefits from training in self-compassionate self-regulation? A study of smoking reduction. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 29, 727755.
Keys, A., Brozek, J., Henshel, A., Mickelson, O., & Taylor, H.L. (1950). The biology of human starvation (vols. 1–2). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Kozlowska, K., Walker, P., McLean, L., & Carrive, P. (2015). Fear and the defense cascade: Clinical implications and management. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 23, 263287.
Levac, D., Colquhoun, H., & O'Brien, K.K. (2010). Scoping studies: Advancing the methodology. Implementation Science, 5, 19.
Liotti, G., & Gilbert, P. (2011). Mentalizing, motivation, and social mentalities: Theoretical consideration and implications for psychotherapy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 84, 925.
Lutter, M., & Nestler, E.J. (2009). Homeostatic and hedonic signals interact in the regulation of food intake. The Journal of Nutrition, 139, 629632.
Matos, M., Ferreira, C., Duarte, C., & Pinto-Gouveia, J. (2015). Eating disorders: When social rank perceptions are shaped by early shame experiences. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice, 88, 3853.
McCluskey, U. (2005) To be met as a person: The dynamics of attachment in professional encounters. London: Karnac.
Mullen, G., Dowling, C., Doyle, J., & O'Reilly, G. (2018). Experiences of compassion focused therapy in eating disorder recovery: A qualitative model. Manuscript submitted for publication.
McEwan, K., Gilbert, P., & Duarte, J. (2012). An exploration of competitiveness and caring in relation to psychopathology. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, 1936.
Mikulincer, M., & Shaver, P.R. (2012). An attachment perspective on psychopathology. World Psychiatry, 11, 1115.
Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D.G., & The PRISMA Group. (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Medicine, 6, e1000097.
Murphy, R., Straebler, S., Cooper, Z., & Fairburn, C.G. (2010). Cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders. Psychiatry Clinics of North America, 33, 611627.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). (2004). Eating disorders: Core interventions in the treatment and management of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and related eating disorders. London, England: Author.
Nisbett, R.E., & Wilson, T.D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84, 231259.
Pascuzzo, K., Moss, E., & Cyr, C. (2015). Attachment and emotion regulation strategies in predicting adult psychopathology. SAGE Open. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015604695
Pedersen, S.H., Lunn, S. & Poulsen, S. (2012). Reflective functioning in 70 patients suffering from bulimia nervosa. European Eating Disorder Review, 20, 303310.
Pedersen, S.H., Poulsen, S., & Lunn, S. (2015). Eating disorders and mentalization: High reflective functioning in patients with bulimia nervosa. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63, 671694.
Pinto-Gouveia, J., Ferreira, C., & Duarte, C. (2014). Thinness in the pursuit for social safeness: An integrative model of social rank mentality to explain eating psychopathology. Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, 21, 154165.
Pohjolainen, V., Koponen, S., Rasanen, R., Roine, R.P., Sintonen, H., & Karlsson, H. (2016). Long-term health-related quality of life in eating disorders. Quality of Life Research, 25, 23412346.
Polivy, J., Zeitlin, S.B., Herman, P.C., & Beal, A.L. (1994). Food restriction and binge eating: A study of former prisoners of war. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 409411.
Ranzenhofer, L.M., Engel, S.G., Crosby, R.D., Haigney, M., Anderson, M., McCaffery, J.M., & Tanofsky-Kraff, M. (2016). International Journal of Eating Disorders, 49, 197201.
Razzoli, M., Pearson, C., Crow, S., & Bartolomucci, A. (2017). Stress, overeating, and obesity: Insights from human studies and preclinical models. Neuroscience and Biobehavioural Reviews, 76(Pt. A) 154162.
Steinhausen, H.C., & Weber, S. (2009). Outcome of bulimia nervosa: Findings from a quarter century of research. American Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 13311341.
Schore, A.N. (2000). Attachment and the regulation of the right brain. Attachment & Human Development, 2, 2347.
Sloman, L., & Taylor, P. (2016). Impact of child maltreatment on attachment and social rank systems: Introducing an integrated theory. Trauma, Violence & Abuse, 17, 172185.
Stroup, D.F., Berlin, J.A., Morton, S.C., Olkin, L., Williamson, G.D., Rennie, D., … Thacker, S.B. (2000). Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: A proposal for reporting. Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOUSE) group. Journal of the American Medical Association, 283, 20082012.
*Tasca, G.A., & Balfour, L. (2014). Attachment and eating disorders: A review of current research. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 47, 7, 710717.
*Tetley, A., Moghaddam, N.G., Dawson, D.L., & Rennoldson, M. (2014). Parental binding and eating disorder: A systematic review. Eating Behaviors, 15, 4959.
Troop, N.A., & Hiskey, S. (2013). Social defeat and PTSD symptoms following trauma. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 52, 365379.
*Vall, B.A., & Wade, T.D. (2015). Predictors of treatment outcome in individuals with eating disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48, 946971.
Valk, S.L., Bernhardt, B.C., Trautwein, F.M., Bockler, A., Kanske, P., Guizard, N., Collins, D.L., & Singer, T. (2017). Structural plasticity of the social brain: Differential change after socio-affective and cognitive mental training. Science Advances, 4, e1700489.
von Hausswolff-Juhlin, Y., Brooks, S.J., & Larsson, M. (2015). The neurobiology of eating disorders — A clinical perspective. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 131, 244255.
World Health Organization. (1992). The International Classification of Disease — Tenth Edition (ICD-10). Geneva, Switzerland: Author.
*Zachrisson, H.D., & Skarderud, F. (2010). Feelings of insecurity: Review of attachment and eating disorders. European Eating Disorders Review, 18, 97106.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Relationships Research
  • ISSN: -
  • EISSN: 1838-0956
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-relationships-research
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed