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All Psychology single honours students and Psychology major students who are eligible for graduate basis for registration (GBR) with the British Psychological Society are required to undertake and submit a substantial piece of research during their final year of study. However, this is also an important opportunity for you to follow up on an area of interest, investigate aspects of psychology related to areas you are keen to work in, or develop concrete evidence of the skills you have learnt at university for your CV and job interviews.


This means that you will be required to undertake a substantial psychology research project with the guidance of a psychology member of staff; either independently or as part of a research group (team).This is for your own benefit as you 1) will need the skills you learn in Research Methods to analyse your project work and 2) cannot take more than 4 modules in a year.IN ADDITION, if you did not pass any one of your modules in your second year you will have to retake this in your third year and your dissertation will be automatically scheduled for the
year after this.

The module aims are:
• To enable you to understand and participate in a process of design, run and write up a high quality psychological research project - either independently or in a group.
• To develop your methodological and analytical knowledge acquired through your previous research methods training to analyse and interpret the results of your investigation.
• To enable you to further interpret your findings in the context of relevant past and current contemporary research in the area of investigation.
• To develop your competence in the production of coherent written reports which are clearly presented and which have an evaluative and critical orientation.
• To provide the opportunity for you, in your final year, to become a competent and selfsufficient researcher and to prepare you for conducting scientific research after you graduate.

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorder is the very baffling and the confusing disorder not only for the patients but even for the practitioners. This confusion is because of the myths and the misconception that are associated with eating disorders. Most of the people do not take this as a serious disorders but it may lead to serious and harmful effects on the human body. Eating disorder can be defined as the medical and psychiatric illness that is diagnosed in the people. It is not the disorder that is chosen by the patients and not the disorder that is inherited from the parents. Now the question arises, what cause this illness amongst the people?

There are various types of eating disorders found amongst the people. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa are two of the major disease that are diagnose in the people suffering from eating disorders. Researches have been made in concern with the causes of eating disorders and it has been identified that biological factors are one of the significant factors that play their role in developing eating disorders (Abbate-Daga, Amianto,  Delsedime, De-Bacco and Fassino, 2013). It has been analysed that ether are some mental conditions that also contribute in developing eating disorders amongst the people such as depression, social phobia, anxiety etc.

It is the disorder that deals with eating habits of the individuals who suffers from low body weight as compared to what is required for an individual. It is also termed as Body Mass Index or BMI. The person with this disorder has very abnormal eating patterns and thus has very low weight as compared to the required weight for a healthy living. This eating disorder is not only about the physical aspects but it is also related to the behavioural aspects of the people.

It has some of the psychological aspects as well such as thinking of people regarding their body and their image about how they look (Bradley and Simpson, 2014). As our present culture is highly obsessed with weight and food, development of disordered patterns of eating is very common. This suggest that there are less clinical cause of this disorder but metal illness and conditions is found to be the major cause of eating disorder amongst teenagers and youth. One of the researchers suggests that 0.9% of women and 0.3% of men suffers from this disorder in their life time.

Organizations from all over the world such as Academy for Eating disorders, NEDA etc. have published some of the guidelines regarding eating disorders and suggest that this is the disorder that is not inherited and is caused because of the biological issues in the human body. It has been analysed that different people who are suffer from this disorder have different causes.  And thus there is no single set of rules that need to be followed to cure the disorder. There are majorly three types of risk factors associated with this disorder that are psychological factors, biological factors and social cultural disorders.

It has been analysed that the psychological aspect in the recovery is an important part but it has been very much neglected, this type of recovery without psychological aspect is termed as pseudo recovery. It has been found by the researchers that when the body weight and the shape of the body was kept as the criteria for recovering, the recovered group was observed to be less dissatisfied and do not have social adjustments. It has been analysed in the study that the psychological recovery of the people follows the behavioural recovery.

Causes of eating disorders

Researchers suggest that full recovery can be achieved only when there is no difference between the healthy controls and the people facing the disorder (National Eating Disorders Association., 2017). Healthy controls are the people who have never shown any of the characteristics of having eating disorder. Researchers have described the criteria that are considered for defining a person fully recovered (Byrne, et al. 2011). The first criteria is that the person has no diagnostic characteristics for any disorder related to eating and another one is that there is no purging, binge eating or fasting since last three months.

It is believed by the researchers that psychological aspects of the patients need to be included in the recovery but it cannot be put as the criteria technically. Prior findings have suggested that some residual symptoms are left among the patients and they may develop again and thus full recovery is not possible in this context (Hookway, 2008). But now it has been analysed that full recovery is possible by considering the above stated criteria.

Another study that was conducted regarding the women suggests that the after recovery behaviour of the women was very different from their earlier behaviour. They start thinking so positive and the way of looking to themselves and presenting themselves has changed. It has been analysed that the patients suggests that psychological treatment of recovery directly does not followed by the actual or physical recovery (Kessler, et al. 2013). It takes years to recover from this disorder physically but psychological recovery provides a different mind-set to the patients that give their courage to adjust in the society without having any fear of eating.

Their habits may not change so early but their way of thinking may change. The women suggest that meeting their target weight is just the part of their full recovery. Full recovery can only be achieved if the eating habits of the person changes totally without any pressure. It has been analysed that different people have different perception about recovery. Some think that psychological recovery is followed by the behaviour and the physical recovery while some studies suggest that physical recovery is achieved after the achievement of psychological recovery (Rohde, Stice and Marti, 2015). There are many ways to give therapy to the patients who have been found to have this disorder.

It has been analysed that the most effective way is family based treatment. It is the therapy in which the session has been conducted for the family by bringing them together and discussing the issues they are facing. It has been done so that the issues can be resolved collectively (Ferguson, et al. 2014). Another therapy is related to cognitive behaviour therapy. This deals with the way the patients think about the food and their habits of eating. This study also does not consider the psychological aspect that is the reason behind this behaviour and the physical weakness of the patients.

It has been concluded from different articles that there are three major aspects of full recovery of the patients from eating disorder that are psychological, behavioural and physical. It has been analysed that different patients that are suffering from this disorder have different perception about the full recovery (National Eating Disorders Association., 2017). It is required to find out the tools that assist the doctors to identify the perception or the definition of the full recovery of a particular patient. This is because some people think that recovery of psychology is the full recovery from the disorder while some think that achieving the weight target is the recovery (McNamara and Parsons, 2016) .

The full recovery that has been defined by the researcher includes all the criteria such as psychological, physical and behavioural. It is required by the patients to show the characteristics of the health controls, and then only the patient is considered as fully recovered. It has been concluded that eating disorder recovery is the very difficult target to achieve as it is differently perceived by the patients and also have different criteria to assess the success of recovery of eating disorders.

References:

Abbate-Daga, G., Amianto, F., Delsedime, N., De-Bacco, C. and Fassino, S., 2013. Resistance to treatment and change in anorexia nervosa: a clinical overview. BMC psychiatry, 13(1), p.294.

Bradley, M. and Simpson, S., 2014. Inside the experience of recovering from anorexia nervosa: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of blogs. Counselling, Psychotherapy, and Health, 9, pp.1-34.

Byrne, S.M., Fursland, A., Allen, K.L. and Watson, H., 2011. The effectiveness of enhanced cognitive behavioural therapy for eating disorders: an open trial. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49(4), pp.219-226.

Ferguson, C.J., Muñoz, M.E., Garza, A. and Galindo, M., 2014. Concurrent and prospective analyses of peer, television and social media influences on body dissatisfaction, eating disorder symptoms and life satisfaction in adolescent girls. Journal of youth and adolescence, 43(1), pp.1-14.

Hookway, N., 2008. Entering the blogosphere': some strategies for using blogs in social research. Qualitative research, 8(1), pp.91-113.

Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P.A., Chiu, W.T., Deitz, A.C., Hudson, J.I., Shahly, V., Aguilar-Gaxiola, S., Alonso, J., Angermeyer, M.C., Benjet, C. and Bruffaerts, R., 2013. The prevalence and correlates of binge eating disorder in the World Health Organization World Mental Health Surveys. Biological psychiatry, 73(9), pp.904-914.

McNamara, N. and Parsons, H., 2016. ‘Everyone here wants everyone else to get better’: The role of social identity in eating disorder recovery. British Journal of Social Psychology, 55(4), pp.662-680.

National Eating Disorders Association., 2017. Blog. [online] Available at: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/blog [Accessed 13 Oct. 2017].

Rohde, P., Stice, E. and Marti, C.N., 2015. Development and predictive effects of eating disorder risk factors during adolescence: Implications for prevention efforts. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 48(2), pp.187-198.

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