Exploration of the Social Representations of Eating Disorders among Social Workers
The feeding behaviour, undoubtedly one of the human’s most complex, is the result of a balance between biological, psychological and sociological components. An imbalance within components gives rise to pathologies such anorexia and bulimia. Teams made up of medical and human relations professionals help people living with these conditions. Within these teams, social workers are distinguished by their training focused on the psycho-sociological aspects of issues. The goal of this research was to highlight the workers’ social representations of eating disorders. An exploratory study was carried out based on semi-structured interviews with social workers (n = 8) working in psychiatric care in Quebec City and Montréal (Canada). The theory of social representations was used to analyze the results. It appears that among social workers the psychosocial aspects of these disorders are quite significant in the interpretation and representations to the detriment of medical aspects. This research can contribute to reflection and debate on the cultural aspects of a mental health problem.