A Qualitative Study of Males’ Perceptions about Causes of Eating Disorder


Our knowledge about males’ perceptions about causes of eating disorder is very limited, but can be useful in the treatment planning for males. The aim of this study was to describe how male former patients perceived causes of onset of their eating disorder. Fifteen males previously treated for eating disorders and now considering themselves as recovered where interviewed at ages 19 - 52. All interviews were recorded and analyzed qualitatively using a phenomenographic approach. Three categories of perceived causes of onset of eating disorders were found. The first category: self-dissatisfaction, was presented with three conceptions: “High achievements and demands”, “Body-dissatisfaction” and “Low self-esteem”. The second category: family environment, comprised the two conceptions: “Difficulty in family interaction and communication” and “Excessive expectations from family members”. The third category was stressful events outside the family, and consisted of the three conceptions: “Bullying, bad situation at school”, “Moving to new places/separation from friends” and “Societal ideals”. Males’ perceptions of causes of onset of their eating disorder were in many aspects similar to those earlier described for women. In treatment, it is important that the clinicians show a sincere interest in perceived causes, since it may facilitate a good working alliance with the patient.

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Wallin, K. , Pettersen, G. , Björk, T. & Råstam, M. (2014). A Qualitative Study of Males’ Perceptions about Causes of Eating Disorder. Psychology, 5, 1813-1820. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.515187.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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