School of Health Sciences
Psychology: Human Services Counseling
Dissociation, Eating Disorders, Self-Harm, Anorexia, Bulimia
Experimental Analysis of Behavior | Psychology
Zimmerman, Amy A., "The Link Between Dissociation, Eating Disorders, and Self-Harm" (2014). Senior Honors Theses. 442.
Many researchers and psychological professionals believe that there is a link between eating disorders and self-harm, though this has been less widely researched than other correlations such as that between eating disorders and substance abuse. Various studies have also indicated a relationship between these two variables and dissociation independently; however, there does not seem to be a comprehensive study covering the correlations between all three variables. The researcher for this study aimed to test the correlation between eating disorders and self-harm and collect new information on the link between all three to further the available data on this topic. Data were also collected and analyzed in order to determine if certain eating disorders are more highly associated with self-harm and dissociation. A correlation was found between all three variables, and anorexia and bulimia were more closely associated with self-harm than binge eating or healthy eating. The data also indicated that those with anorexia and bulimia were more likely to have dissociative experiences than those without eating disorders. It is hoped that the correlation found between dissociative experiences and eating disorders and self-injury will serve as an impetus for future experimental research to determine if this link is causal or merely correlational.