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Open AccessArticle

The Role of the Embodiment Disturbance in the Anorexia Nervosa Psychopathology: A Network Analysis Study

Department of Medicine, Surgery and Dentistry ‘Scuola Medica Salernitana’, Section of Neurosciences, University of Salerno, 84081 Salerno, Italy
Psychiatry Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University of Florence, 50139 Florence, Italy
Department of Psychological, Humanistic and Territorial Sciences, ‘G. d’Annunzio’ University, 66100 Chieti, Italy
‘D. Portales’ University, 8320000 Santiago, Chile
Department of Psychiatry, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80138 Naples, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Brain Sci. 2019, 9(10), 276;
Received: 29 July 2019 / Revised: 4 October 2019 / Accepted: 12 October 2019 / Published: 15 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Psychotherapeutic Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa)
Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is characterized by body image distortion. From a phenomenological perspective, body image disturbance has been associated with a more profound disturbance encompassing disorders of the way persons experience their own body. The aim of this study was to disentangle the complex dynamics that connect the experience of one’s own body and self-identity to the psychopathological features of AN by applying a network analysis. Fifty-seven patients with AN restrictive subtype and 27 with AN binge–purging subtype participated in the study. Eating Disorders Inventory-2 and Identity and Eating Disorders subscores, measuring the embodiment dimensions, were included in the network. Two of the main dimensions of embodiment—feeling extraneous from one’s own body and feeling oneself through objective measures—were the nodes with the highest strength together with interoceptive awareness (IA). IA was a node included in several pathways connecting embodiment dimensions with most of the AN psychopathological dimensions. The centrality of the embodiment disorder suggests the importance of considering the body image disturbance in people with AN as resulting from their difficulty in experiencing inner states and as a tool to build its own self. This assumption may orient therapeutic interventions. View Full-Text
Keywords: anorexia nervosa; embodiment; network analysis; body image; body awareness anorexia nervosa; embodiment; network analysis; body image; body awareness
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Cascino, G.; Castellini, G.; Stanghellini, G.; Ricca, V.; Cassioli, E.; Ruzzi, V.; Monteleone, P.; Monteleone, A.M. The Role of the Embodiment Disturbance in the Anorexia Nervosa Psychopathology: A Network Analysis Study. Brain Sci. 2019, 9, 276.

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