Self-Other Positioning in Obesity: A Pilot Study Using Repertory Grid Technique

The Open Psychology Journal 18 Oct 2013 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/1874350101306010061


Self-other positioning was investigated in a group of obese youths in order to empirically test the clinical hy-pothesis – based on the constructionist theory of Family Semantic Polarities – that obese people are affected by a negative self-perception and low self-esteem. Repertory grid technique was used with 30 participants (15 obese-overweight and 15 control) to elicit and compare their personal constructs and assess, via ad hoc measurement indices, the positions they as- signed to the self and significant others in relation to these constructs. The results confirmed the research hypotheses, with obese subjects displaying a tendency to pos ition both self and others at the negative pole of bipolar constructs and reporting greater self-ideal discrepancy. These findings and their limitations are discussed in relation to their clinical applications and in light of the methodologi cal issues arising from the study.

Keywords: Eating disorders, family semantic polarities, obesity, personal constructs, positioning, repertory grid technique.
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