Sample Research Paper: Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia Nervosa


The debate over Anorexia nervosa from facilitating low weight is getting more convoluted. Anorexia nervosa is primarily related to body dissatisfaction and is very prevalent among individuals integrating food restriction and has accordingly earned the title ‘normative discontent’ in western societies. Its trend concerning the normative discontent is alarming. In “A Clinical Trial Investigating” by Khalsa et al. (2018), the authors established that Anorexia nervosa was observed in many people including children as young as six year who desired different body image. This essay carries an argumentative research on Anorexia nervosa.

  The researchers are undertaking experimentation with modus operandi that could maneuver the individuals that feel dissatisfied with their body; some of them have attempted dieting. This begs the question of how children as young as six learn about the ideal body image. The thin ideal is conveyed and toughened by primarily the media, peers, and parents. The studies carried out by Franko et al. (2018) found that, for every ten children that embraced Anorexia nervosa as a technique to solve the obesity questions, six of them contended that their parents play a significant role in the development of teenagers’ body dissatisfaction, especially during the earlier phases of adolescence. By the time the child reaches puberty, body dissatisfaction is firmly established and is a significant determinant of social interactions.

Some bioethicists argue that the incorporation of Anorexia nervosa with the intention of solving the concept of overweight is a cultural and psychological term that refers to the expectations the society, but it may cause osteoporosis. According to Friederich et al. (2017), Anorexia nervosa is facilitated by the concern of ‘how a person’s body is supposed to be” and the victims become more concerned about their sexual and physical attractiveness. Current research indicates that self-esteem drops for both the boys and the girls, however, the decline is more dramatic for the girls than the boys.

Hetman et al. (2017) carried a study on “Predicting the re-hospitalization within adolescent Anorexia Nervosa” and debated that self-esteem and self-concept of personal abilities vary significantly across ethnic groups and significant domains. There are arguments on whether Anorexia nervosa links with competency beliefs that are related to gender stereotyping for both girls and boys. However, the study shows that girls expect more from academics and social interactions whereas boys are more confident about their sports and mathematical abilities. During late adolescence, both boys and girls are convinced of their success in chosen future careers. Accordingly, the research in this context maintains that Anorexia nervosa is suitable to keep proper shape for girls to attract their counterparts.

The feasibility study that was carried out by Lock et al. (2018) concluded that declining self-esteem in adolescence is not a consequence of either high school environment or puberty. There are arguments that girls’ self-esteem tends to drop over a more extended period than the boys. However, young African American girls tend to have higher self-esteem than their White counterparts and the boys. Besides, the study argues that gender patterns are slowly eroding and young women are currently more likely than in the past to aspire for careers in male-dominated fields. Moreover, young women are more involved in athletics than the previous generations. Whereas the issue of body dissatisfaction and self-esteem affect adolescents across all domains, the girls are more at risk of suffering body dissatisfaction because of the cultural demands for female thinness. The physical changes of puberty include considerable weight gain. For some, the intense body dissatisfaction contributes to the development of eating disorders. This may consist of induced vomiting and restrictive dieting, which if left untreated lead to more severe conditions, such as bulimia or anorexia.

Friederich et al. (2017) revealed that most of the eating disorders (most of which are associated with Anorexia nervosa) that are ailing the adult population began during their adolescence period. A complex set of biological, personal, social, and cultural factors influence the development of eating disorders. Experiences that threaten the healthy psychological development of adolescents also increase the risk of developing eating disorders. Factors that shield the adolescents against body dissatisfaction and eating disorders include an environment that enhances self-esteem and protects them from risk factors that may negatively influence healthy psychological development (Friederich et al., 2017). A society that accepts different appearances plays an instrumental role in lowing body dissatisfaction. Elements abound that may impact a teenagers self-esteem. Body image plays a crucial role because it is central in self-definition. The society through the media, peers, and parents socialize the adolescents to believe appearance is the essential basis for self-evaluation. The adolescents also think others evaluate them on the same basis.

The correlation between body dissatisfaction and self-esteem is most definite in adolescents growing up in advanced consumer societies. The media through magazines, TVs, and movies emphasize the bearing appearance has on self-worth, especially for women. The media also presents a cultural ideal of beauty and is increasingly unattainable. A recent analysis of content aired through the sit-com channel reveals that 76% of women characters are below average weight. The diagnostic criterion of anorexia nervosa is 15% underweight. A considerable number of women characters in the programs are more than 20% skinny. Cosmetic surgeries, digital alterations, and airbrushing further increase the unrealistic nature of the media image and the dissatisfaction the adolescents, especially the girls suffer because of their body image. This issue is paramount during adolescence because, at this stage, individuals form opinions about self and society. It is also a period when the teenager is undergoing physical changes because of the onset of puberty, which seems to further distant them for the societal ideal body image.

Prospective risk factors for the development of body dissatisfaction are of high concern in modern society because of the adverse effects of body dissatisfaction. In a recent community sample, up to 46% of the girls and 26% of boys in their adolescence reported body dissatisfaction. Only 12 % of the girls and 17% of the boys in the sample indicated they were their desired size. 12% of the girls and 5% of the boys reported using extreme measures, such as diet pills, vomiting, and fasting to lose weight. Another 12% of the boys said using or considering using steroids and food supplements to gain muscle. Body dissatisfaction is a prospective predictor in the development of depression. According to Lock et al. (2018), the major theories in the advancement of body dissatisfaction suggest many factors influence it. Physical characteristics, such as large body size, cultural emphasis on thinness, and psychological factors increase the risk of body dissatisfaction (Franko et al., 2018). Ethnicity is a protective factor against the development of body dissatisfaction in adolescents. African American consider a larger body size as ideal thus the adolescents from this group are less likely to experience body dissatisfaction during adolescence because the extent of departure from the model is less. Compared to males from other ethnic groups, African American males are less likely to consider they are overweight. Although all men desire more muscular shapes than they have, the African American adolescent boys are more likely to fit their ideal as they move into later stages of adolescence and young adulthood.

Parents with dieting concerns may influence the body dissatisfaction of their adolescents. A study conducted by Lock et al. (2018) indicates a higher development of weight concerns in adolescents who had parents with weight concerns. Parents’ encouragements to diet influence the body mass index (BMI), which is particularly important in the increase of body dissatisfaction over a long period. The parent’s influence decreases with the increase in age. During adolescence, external factors play a more significant role in influencing the attitudes of teenagers more than parental controls. Peer environment is especially important in determining body dissatisfaction in adolescents.  Research also indicates an increase in body dissatisfaction for adolescents who engage in conversations about dieting and appearance. Adolescents also tend to join in appearance-concerned friendship in which popularity is determined by the extent the individual fits the ideal.

Many studies have found a link between body dissatisfaction and depression in adolescents. The relationship between body dissatisfaction and depression exists for both boys and girls. However, girls are more likely to experience depression accompanied by body dissatisfaction than boys. Overweight adolescents are more likely to experience body dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Body dissatisfaction is the link that justifies the relation between weight and depression. There is no statistical relationship between pressure and depression when body dissatisfaction is controlled. Body dissatisfaction is also related to other psychological factors, such as social phobia. Adolescents who have suffered social phobia in the past are at risk of suffering body dissatisfaction. Internalizing the media body media is a critical component in the development of body dissatisfaction. The thin societal ideal leads adolescents to evaluate themselves against actors they see in the media and is a major contributing factor to body dissatisfaction.

There exists an interaction between parental and peer’s relationship with body dissatisfaction. Adolescents with a good relationship with their parents and peers have a low level of body dissatisfaction compared to adolescents who have poor relationships with their parents and peers. The quality of these relationships predicts the levels of body dissatisfaction over time. Good relationships during the preadolescent stage predict low body dissatisfaction in adolescence and adulthood (Franko et al., 2018).

It is clear from the evidence that girls experience more body dissatisfaction than boys during the adolescence stage; however, the boy’s contentment scores were gender specific. The boys display most dissatisfaction when they are underweight and resentment when they are overweight. Although the effect on girls is below that of the boys, the discontent in girls stimulates more results that are psychological. There exists a similar dissatisfaction in both boys and girls in the adolescence stage. Self-esteem scores are higher in boys than in girls during the adolescence stage. Body dissatisfaction is inversely proportional to self-esteem. Given the effect of the media on society and the resulting cultural expectation imposed on individuals during the adolescence stage, a degree of dissatisfaction exists in every adolescent. Influencing self-evaluation and negatively affecting self-esteem. Scientific data confirms the factors influencing self-esteem. Body dissatisfaction is of paramount importance and effects negatively. Whereas body dissatisfaction is more significant in girls than boys, ethnicity plays an important role. Black American girls have higher self-esteem than their White counterparts and the boys during early and mid-adolescence. Asian express a higher level of body dissatisfaction than the other races probably because of their society centered cultures. Unlike the western cultures than advocate for individuality, different popular cultures in Asia and Africa advocate for a social mind. People interact as part of a group and consider themselves part of the group.

Unless we are willing to mislead our fellow friends, we should inspire the consumer-based societies that demonstrate a higher level of body dissatisfaction because of the high level of media influence in the society. Media presents an ideal thin as the perfect body image, and it is upon the whole community to the part in ensuring that everybody is inspired about the implications of Anorexia nervosa. There is a need to advise the adolescent girls and boys that benchmark themselves against the image presented in the media and by the parents and peers. To solve the issue of low self-esteem, media must accommodate different body images, as they exist in society.

Many researchers have different opinions concerning the integration of Anorexia nervosa. As a result, the non-engaged stakeholders have not been enlightened adequately about its concepts. They are currently adopting Anorexia nervosa without a strong understanding of whether it is fit for their health or whether it is harmful. Accordingly, it will be important to educate them about the issue of and engage the audience by teaching them about the implications of Anorexia nervosa (Franko et al., 2018). Consequently, people will be empowered and then take suitable actions. As stated earlier, there are arguments on Anorexia nervosa, where some believe it is beneficial for their bodies and others conclude that it has adverse effects on human health, and therefore it will be feasible to engage the audience in the matter and to convince them to be very careful on Anorexia nervosa. The study was committed to clarifying how the audience will take the best courses of action that will aim at avoiding or using the methods of Anorexia nervosa.  This essay urges the stakeholders to undertake discussion that is based on advising the individuals that want to make their bodies fit through Anorexia nervosa. 


If we care, we ought to come up with appropriate strategies and integrate the effort of sanctioning the audience to take appropriate measure against Anorexia Nervosa will be helpful to them.  It will be vital to organize seminars and workshops that will aid in sensitization on matters related to it to empower the audience to consider the proper actions about the issue of Anorexia Nervosa. The workshops must outline the adverse effects of Anorexia Nervosa, but focusing mainly on its side effects on human health. However, to make it successful, there is a need for partnering with Health organizations and the government to ensure that significant numbers of audiences are informed about the adverse effects on the environment and health.  Such seminars are helpful since the majority of people will get to understand deeper about Anorexia Nervosa from experts and also via sharing experiences and ideas through interactive sessions. Control measures as well ought to be discussed to come up with a suitable solution to the Anorexia nervosa questions. 


Franko, D. L., Tabri, N., Keshaviah, A., Murray, H. B., Herzog, D. B., Thomas, J. J., … & Eddy, K. T. (2018). Predictors of long-term recovery in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: Data from a 22-year longitudinal study. Journal of psychiatric research, 96, 183-188.

Friederich, H. C., Brockmeyer, T., Wild, B., Resmark, G., de Zwaan, M., Dinkel, A., … & Rothermund, E. (2017). Emotional expression predicts treatment outcome in focal psychodynamic and cognitive behavioural therapy for anorexia nervosa: findings from the ANTOP study. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics, 86(2), 108-110.

Hetman, I., Klomek, A. B., Goldzweig, G., Hadas, A., Horwitz, M., & Silvana Fennig, M. D. (2017). Percentage from Target Weight (PFTW) Predicts Re-hospitalization in Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa. Isr J Psychiatry, 54(3).

Khalsa, S., Moseman, S., Yeh, H. W., Simmons, W. K., Paulus, M., & Feinstein, J. (2018). S66. A Clinical Trial Investigating the Safety and Tolerability of Floatation-Rest in Anorexia Nervosa. Biological Psychiatry, 83(9), S372.

Lock, J., Fitzpatrick, K. K., Agras, W. S., Weinbach, N., & Jo, B. (2018). Feasibility Study Combining Art Therapy or Cognitive Remediation Therapy with Family‐based Treatment for Adolescent Anorexia Nervosa. European Eating Disorders Review, 26(1), 62-68.

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