Missing the Past Eating Disorder: Exploring the Dark Side of Nostalgia during Eating Disorder Recovery

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Bossom, Isabella Rose Ludvig




Behaviour change is motivated by a sense of self-discontinuity with the pre-addicted self because self-discontinuity elicits nostalgic reverie for life before the addiction. To date, these associations have only been tested among people attempting to initiate behaviour change. Herein, I examined whether eating disorder recovery is hindered by feeling that the recovery process has fundamentally altered one's sense of self (i.e., self-discontinuity), thus eliciting nostalgic reverie for the eating disorder. In Study 1, among people in eating disorder recovery, self-discontinuity was negatively associated with subjective recovery and mediated by nostalgia for the perceived benefits of the eating disorder. In Study 2, I manipulated self-discontinuity and then measured nostalgic reverie for the perceived benefits of the eating disorder and subjective recovery. Contrary to predictions, participants manipulated to feel self-continuous (versus self-discontinuous) felt earlier in their subjective recovery via nostalgia for the perceived benefits of the past eating disorder self.


Eating disorders




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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