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The current project aims to examine the concept of promoting attention toward body functionality and gratitude using a weekly functionality-based mirror exposure and body functionality gratitude "journaling" text prompts three days a week for three weeks to examine whether this helps foster positive body image and decrease eating disorder symptoms in a sample of undergraduate females, a population at particularly high risk of body image dissatisfaction and consequent eating disorder development.
Specific Aim 1. First, the project aims to test a gratitude-based body functionality primary prevention program, In the Mirror: Functional Appreciated Bodies (IM FAB), that incorporates mirror exposure with a greater intervention "dose" than that piloted by Brooks and Walker. The increased dose should allow for greater ability for participants to consolidate exposure-based learning. Specifically, more time instructed to appreciate the body's functionality allows for more occasions to redirect critical appearance-oriented cognitions to appreciative, function-based cognitions.
Specific Aim 2. Second, the project aims to pilot test a relatively minimalistic intervention that would be easily translated to app-based delivery format, to help overcome the most-cited barriers to prevention program participation noted by undergraduate students in universal prevention research. Specifically, undergraduate participants who were assigned to a prevention program but did not enroll questioned a need for counseling/therapy, reported preferring to deal with issues on their own, and cited a lack of time as reasons they did not enroll.
Specific Aim 3. Third, the project aims to test this specific functionality mirror exposure approach largely on its own, rather than as part of a multicomponent treatment program, so that its unique contribution in preventing body image dissatisfaction, and ultimately eating disorders, can be assessed. A main goal in prevention and treatment development remains to continuously test components of body-image interventions separately for efficacy.
Eating Disorder Symptom
Mirror exposure and text prompt responses
University at Albany, State University of New York
Union College, New York
Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-15T11:11:29-0400
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Neurons that fire when an animal acts or observes the same action of another thus coding the motor response. They were originally discovered in the premotor and parietal cortex of the monkey and studies have shown that neurons that have a similar mechanism are present in humans. Mirror neurons are theorized to be related to social cognition.
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