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A Psychosocial Comparison Between Weight Loss Maintainers and Weight Loss Non-Maintainers

Description: Psychosocial differences between weight loss maintainers and weight loss non-maintainers were compared at least one year after reaching a medically approved weight goal through a medically supervised weight loss program. Research questions addressed differences between groups on the dimensions of somatization, obsessive/compulsive issues, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, anxiety, hostility, ability to resolve past emotional issues, social interpersonal relationships, and tolerance of ambiguity. The all-female sample consisted of maintainers of weight loss (N=30), non-maintainers (N=33), psychotherapy maintainers (N=14), and psychotherapy non-maintainers (N=ll). Research instruments administered were the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised, Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior, Personal Orientation Inventory, and Budner Scale for Tolerance/Intolerance of Ambiguity. To determine differences between groups, a t test was performed on data relating to the maintaining and non-maintaining groups. An analysis of variance was performed on data related to the maintaining, non-maintaining, psychotherapy maintaining, and psychotherapy non-maintaining groups. An intercorrelation matrix was completed for all variables. Non-maintainers of weight loss had significantly more difficulty with somatic problems as indicated in the results of both the t test and the analysis of variance (p < .009, p < .02, respectively). Non-maintainers expressed more complaints which focused on cardio-vascular, gastrointestinal, respiratory, and somatic equivalents of anxiety (headaches, pain, discomfort of the gross musculature). An analysis of variance showed non-maintainers (p < .05) to be significantly less effective in resolving past emotional issues than maintainers, psychotherapy maintainers, and psychotherapy non-maintainers. Non-maintainers were more burdened by guilt, regrets, and resentments from the past. Results of the analysis of variance indicated that psychotherapy maintainers (p < .03) were more socially adjusted than maintainers, non-maintainers, and psychotherapy non-maintainers. Inclusion and control subscales characterized psychotherapy maintainers to be more socially adaptable and flexible. They assumed responsibility without support of others and were less burdened with fears of helplessness and incompetence.
Date: August 1989
Creator: Bachman, Robert Lee, 1947-