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Social network of girls suffering from anorexia nervosa

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By having analyzed scientific research executed and articles published it has become clear that the number of girls suffering from Anorexia Nervosa is rapidly increasing within the society. This fact substantiates the relevance and significance of the topic analyzed in this work. Numerous empirical analyses have been carried out in research of Anorexia Nervosa, however, the type of research that would reveal a social network of girls suffering from Anorexia Nervosa has not been detected. Therefore the goal of the work is to reveal the aspects of social network of girls suffering from Anorexia Nervosa. By implementing the objectives raised for the research, social network aspects are exposed by analyzing its schemes created by the girls, nature ofrelationships as well as functions of the  network members. In order to disclose the aspects of a social network of girls suffering from Anorexia Nervosa, a qualitative analysis has been carried out. Five girls suffering from the illness took part in the research. Each girl was interviewed once. Before the interview the participants of the research drew their own schemes of social networks applying Rousseau’s (1985) network scheme. The outcomes of the research were analyzed according to the method of themes analysis.
In the process of analyzing the outcome of the research, the network structure was revealed by exploring the schemes drawn by the girls, meanwhile the relationships and functions of the network members were developed by construing the data obtained during the interviews. It turned out that a solid social network does not guarantee the quality of social support provided since that does not prevent a girl from feeling lonely, unappreciated and unheard. Relationships with the primary social network, which includes family members, friends and co-workers, are. the most important for a girl. However, the relationship with the closest family members, i.e.,
mother and father, is rather disputable or weak. In most cases strong control dominates in the family, meanwhile the emotional function does not exist at all. In addition to the above-enlisted problems, other parent-related problems exist such as father’s addiction to alcohol, divorce or one of the parents is employed abroad. By means of qualitative analysis, girls were able to reveal that by accepting help currently provided they face with the lack of individual attitude towards them as personalities, due to which they are disappointed with the support received. According to them, effective help should be capable of making them get well and helping change bad nutrition habits. On the grounds of the outcome of the analysis, recommendations for social workers, service-sector organizers, researchers and school social educators, who are able to provide primary prevention when solving the spread of nutrition illnesses, are proposed in this work.

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