College Students’ Perceptions of Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa: Irritation and Admiration
Format of Original
Taylor & Francis
Journal of Mental Health
Background: Stigmatizing attitudes against anorexia nervosa (AN) may act as barriers to treatment.
Aims: Evaluated college students’ perceptions of AN as compared to major depressive disorder (MDD).
Method: One-hundred two female undergraduates read vignettes describing targets with mild or severe MDD or AN, then rated biological, vanity, and self-responsibility attributions; feelings of admiration, sympathy, and anger; and behavioral dispositions toward coercion into treatment, imitation, and social distance.
Results: AN was perceived more negatively than MDD in terms of vanity attributions, self-responsibility attributions, and feelings of anger, but more positively in terms of admiration and imitation.
Conclusions: This research demonstrates stigma-related mixed messages received by individuals with AN, which might be useful in improving eating disorders mental health literacy.