The limits to pride: A test of the pro-anorexia hypothesis Academic Article uri icon


  • Many social psychological models propose that positive self-conceptions promote self-esteem. An extreme version of this hypothesis is advanced in "pro-anorexia" communities: identifying with anorexia, in conjunction with disordered eating, can lead to higher self-esteem. The current study empirically tested this hypothesis. Results challenge the pro-anorexia hypothesis. Although those with higher levels of pro-anorexia identification trended towards higher self-esteem with increased disordered eating, this did not overcome the strong negative main effect of pro-anorexia identification. These data suggest a more effective strategy for promoting self-esteem is to encourage rejection of disordered eating and an anorexic identity.

author list (cited authors)

  • Cornelius, T., & Blanton, H.

publication date

  • January 1, 2015 11:11 AM