Degree Name

BA

Department

Family Life

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Publication Date

2022-06-09

First Faculty Advisor

Sarah Coyne

First Faculty Reader

Lauren Barnes

Honors Coordinator

David Nelson

Keywords

ating disorder, spirituality, religion, treatment

Abstract

The extant literature on the association between religiosity/spirituality and eating disorder symptomatology presents mixed findings. Some evidence suggests that spirituality is a protective factor and aids in eating disorder recovery, while other findings indicate that it is hurtful. Yet, many eating disorder treatment facilities have begun addressing spirituality as part of treatment. The current study investigates the role of spirituality in eating disorder recovery by tracking the association between changes in spiritual distress and reduction in eating disorder symptomatology in 234 patients over the course of five weeks. The results suggest that those who decrease or maintain their spiritual distress levels are more successful at reducing eating disorder symptomatology than those whose spiritual distress increases. Results are discussed in the context of clinical implications and spiritually integrated treatments.

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