A preliminary investigation into neuropsychological processing in adolescents with body dysmorphic disorder
: comparison with healthy controls and adolescents with anorexia nervosa

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Clinical Psychology


Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and Anorexia Nervosa (AN) are characterised by body image disturbance. It has been suggested that poor global integration in visual processing may underlie distorted body image, but empirical studies have yielded mixed results. The current study involved two meta-analyses aimed at examining the extent to which poor global processing is evident in BDD and AN. Studies were identified through a systematic literature search up to August 2019. The BDD search yielded 15 studies and the AN search yielded 18 studies. Random-effect models demonstrated a small pooled effect size for BDD (g = -0.41,95% CI -0.71, -0.11, p < .01), which remained significant after excluding an outlier study and controlling for publication bias (g = -0.29, 95% CI -0.54, -0.05, p = .01). The pooled effect size for AN was moderate (g = -0.63, 95% CI -0.77, -0.49, p< .001), with no outliers or evidence of significant publication bias. The results provide evidence that poor global processing is a transdiagnostic feature of both BDD and AN, although effects may be more pronounced in AN. These findings highlight the possibility that interventions aimed at promoting global visual processing could prove beneficial in disorders characterised by distorted body image.
Date of Award1 Oct 2020
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorAmita Jassi (Supervisor), Georgina Krebs (Supervisor) & Kate Tchanturia (Supervisor)

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