Multiple group identifications and identity compatibility in eating disorder recovery: a mixed methods study

McNamara, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-3123-3678, Wakefield, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-9155-9683, Mair, E. ORCID: 0000-0001-5356-5927, Rennoldson, M., Stevenson, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-2438-6425 and Fitzsimmons, W., 2024. Multiple group identifications and identity compatibility in eating disorder recovery: a mixed methods study. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 34 (1): e2720. ISSN 1052-9284

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Eating disorder recovery is an identity transition characterised by ambivalence, in which group memberships play an important part. However, our understanding of how memberships of groups with different recovery norms (i.e., supportive vs. unsupportive of recovery) can facilitate or inhibit recovery is limited. To address this gap, this study adopted the Social Identity Model of Recovery to examine how recovery is manifest through the changing composition of an individual’s group memberships. We employed a convergent mixed methods design to quantitatively determine whether specific groups (i.e., family, friends, and online groups) are more helpful to eating disorder recovery than others, and to qualitatively explore how group (in)compatibility shapes recovery efforts. There was a high level of convergence across survey (N=112) and interview (N=12) data: groups could have a positive or negative impact according to their recovery norms; different groups provided different forms of support and identity-expression; incompatibility was not always experienced as a problem and could afford strategic benefits. Our findings are amongst the first to attest to the importance of considering identity networks (and their normative content) during eating disorder recovery.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Creators: McNamara, N., Wakefield, J., Mair, E., Rennoldson, M., Stevenson, C. and Fitzsimmons, W.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: January 2024
Volume: 34
Number: 1
ISSN: 1052-9284
Rights: © 2023 the authors. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 20 Jun 2023 14:45
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2024 16:51

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