Date: August 2008
Creator: Smith Machin, Ariane Leigh
Description: The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of a cognitive-dissonance based intervention in reducing disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. The intervention program created dissonance through discussion, exercises, and homework aimed at addressing and countering internalized sociocultural pressures, beliefs and values about women's bodies, attractiveness, and worth in the U.S. Seventy-seven female undergraduates were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: cognitive-dissonance, combined cognitive-dissonance, healthy weight placebo control, and wait-list control To determine effectiveness of the intervention, MANCOVA procedures were used, with Time 1 scores serving as the covariate. Overall, the women who received the dissonance based interventions produced the strongest effects among measures assessing sociocultural pressures, internalization, and body dissatisfaction in comparison to the control group, and experienced significant reductions in dieting behaviors and bulimic symptoms over the course of the study, suggesting that the creation of dissonance via the intervention assisted the women in reducing eating disorder risk factors.
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