University of Tasmania
whole_LagerewskijLarissa1997_thesis.pdf (3.6 MB)

The effects of stress upon coping and eating behaviours

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posted on 2023-05-26, 19:22 authored by Lagerewskij, Larissa
Causes of stress for adolescents include school transition, interpersonal difficulties, separation and death, and excessive homework and pressures from peers and adults. Adolescents cope with stress in various ways. Coping is a means of restoring the equilibrium and varies according to the nature of the concern. Coping strategies commonly used by adolescents include relaxing, working, solving the problem and participating in physical activity. Contradictory findings exist on whether adolescents also utilise negative avoidance strategies such as eating, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. What is known, however, is that young people have greater stress levels than adults and less effective and fewer coping strategies. Stress can have a significant effect upon eating behaviour. This is a concern as it may be a risk factor in the development of eating disorders and obesity. Knowledge about how people make decisions with regard to food choices can provide invaluable information in the promotion of nutrition and in the prevention of diseases. Ajzen-Fishbein's Theory of Reasoned Action gives an understanding of dietary motivation. Research on stress induced eating is contradictory. Some studies support the notion that stress results in an increase in eating whilst other studies report a reduction in eating and no change in eating behaviour. Two theories purport to explain stress-induced eating: the General Effect model and the Individual Differences model. The former proposes that stress causes physiological changes which, in turn, result in an increase in eating. The latter theory proposes that some individuals will increase their food intake as a result of stress whereas others will not. The literature indicates that further research is needed in this area to explain how individuals cope with stress and how stress affects eating behaviour.


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Copyright the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.Psych.)--University of Tasmania, 1997. Includes bibliographical references

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