The relationship between compulsive overeating behaviour and self-harm: An analysis of YouTube videos
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AbstractSelf-harm behaviour and the relatively unrecognised behaviour of compulsive overeating are secretive and isolating in nature. Compulsive overeating behaviour is under-researched and frequently misaligned with Binge Eating Disorder due to a lack of understanding and knowledge. Research investigating self-harm behaviour exists, although qualitative research is limited. This study looked to address the research question, ‘How do those who have compulsive overeating behaviour differ from those who self-harm?’ The design of the study was a qualitative Thematic Analysis based on Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six stages of analysis. Twenty participants’ describing their personal experience of compulsive overeating and self-harm behaviour, through the platform of YouTube, were analysed, revealing 18 main themes. The findings illustrate similarity in the psychological, emotional and behavioural processes of self-harm and compulsive overeating behaviour, although several differences were identified relating to the research question. Key differences identified were the age of onset of behaviour, with existing research and the results of this study showing the prevalent onset of self-harm behaviour in adolescence whereas the results suggest compulsive overeating emerges at a much younger age. Differences were also highlighted in the participants experience and response to life events, their need to belong, in the formation of self-esteem and in the recovery process. Future research furthering intrapersonal and interpersonal understanding of compulsive overeating behaviour as a disorder may inform the design of better prevention and treatment, in addition to exploring the concept of compulsive overeating behaviour as a method of self-harm. Further qualitative research exploring the self-harm recovery process is recommended, to further develop preventative measures and treatment.
CitationWyatt, C. (2017). The relationship between compulsive overeating behaviour and self-harm: An analysis of YouTube videos (Master's Thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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