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Social Work Research Process

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Social Work Research Process 


Social Work Research Process

Section One

Problem Formulation

Anorexia nervosa is recognized as one of the most dominant eating disorder diseases. The children and adolescents diagnosed with this disease possess the fear of becoming obese; therefore, they tend to pursue thinness. The incidences of eating disorders are on the rise across the world, most especially, within the western society. The growing popularity of the ideal body shape and size, cultural shifts, technology advances and, global Westernization has significantly influenced the eating habits globally. The seriousness of eating disorders is underlined by the increasing number of diagnosed cases with more than 70 million children and adolescents suffering from these diseases. The current trends indicate that anorexia nervosa does affect not only the girls and women but also a fair share of the boys and men demographic. There have been reported cases of this disease among females but at a much earlier age without being limited by ethnicity and diverse racial lines.

            Over the past decade, the number of children and adolescents diagnosed with anorexia nervosa has risen by over 60 percent. The data released by NHS Digital concluded that the number of hospitals that positively diagnosed anorexia nervosa in the United States increased from 275 in 2011 to 810 in 2016. Health experts and medical leaders have indicated that the increasing cases of eating disorders have been attributed to the growing pressure from social media and popular culture. The risk of developing anorexia nervosa is on the rise in both men and women due to the increase in the stress to attain body perfection. Vulnerable children and adolescents are exposed to the unnecessary pressure of having unhealthy ideal bodies through the images circulated by different media outlets. The reality of social media is proving to be one of the most significant causes behind the rise in the diagnosed cases of eating disorders.

The Rationale for the Study

The field of researching the rise of anorexia nervosa is continually evolving with medical leaders and health experts trying to develop and refine treatment methods based on the discoveries made. As an eating disorder, anorexia nervosa is characterized by a complex nature that can be attributed to the multifaceted factors that increase the diagnosed cases of the disease. Various environmental, emotional, sociological, and biological factors have been credited to be the force behind the constant rise in the cases of anorexia nervosa. A study conducted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicated the hospitalization for this eating disorder increased by 110% between 2000 and 2007.  The report recommended that medical practitioners should acknowledge that there is no single cause responsible for the increase in eating disorder, but rather an accumulation of compounding factors.

Nonetheless, some researchers have questioned the causes behind the rise in the diagnosed cases of anorexia nervosa. These researchers have highlighted the biological component as the main reason behind the increase in reported cases of this eating disorder. To support their arguments, these researchers have established theories on what mechanisms occur in the human body, and most especially the brain, that makes a child and an adolescent susceptible to developing anorexia nervosa. For that reason, this research proposal will focus on investigating the issues surrounding the increase in anorexia nervosa. The paper will attempt to examine the different factors including neurobiology, hormones, and genetics as the causes responsible for the increase in the diagnosed cases of this eating disorder. The trend of eating disorders is gradually changing with a reported increasing prevalence of anorexia nervosa reported among males demographic throughout the world.


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