3 years ago

Selective Visual Attention Towards Oneself and Associated State Body Satisfaction: an Eye-Tracking Study in Adolescents with Different Types of Eating Disorders

Silvia Schneider, Dirk Adolph, Thomas J. Huber, Anika Bauer, Silja Vocks, Karsten Braks, Manuel Waldorf


The development of eating disorders is associated with a body-related attentional bias. Although eating disorders are especially prevalent in adolescence, so far, no study has analyzed gaze patterns and state body image in response to viewing one’s own body in youth. To fill this gap, the present study aimed to examine a body-related attentional bias and state body satisfaction in adolescents with various forms of eating disorders. Girls with anorexia nervosa, restrictive type (AN-R; n = 30), anorexia nervosa, binge eating/purging type (AN-BP; n = 26), bulimia nervosa (BN; n = 22), clinical controls with anxiety disorders (n = 20) and healthy controls (n = 43) looked at photographs of their own and a peer’s body, while their spontaneous eye movements were recorded. After stimulus presentation, state body satisfaction and individual attractiveness ratings for areas of the presented stimuli were assessed. An analysis of variance revealed that participants of all subgroups showed an attentive preference for unattractive areas of one’s own body. Girls with AN-R attended significantly longer to unattractive body areas than both control groups and significantly shorter to attractive body areas than healthy controls. State body dissatisfaction was more prominent in all eating disorder subgroups, with significantly lower scores in BN compared to AN-R. In general, the higher the state body dissatisfaction, the stronger was the deficit orientation on one’s own body. The attentional bias towards unattractive body areas, which is most pronounced in AN-R, indicates that interventions aiming to modify distorted attention might be promising in the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in adolescence.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10802-017-0263-z

DOI: 10.1007/s10802-017-0263-z

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.