Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) show an impairment in the recognition and expression of emotions, as well as an increased sensitivity to being socially excluded, and rigid maladaptive schemas. The Cyberball paradigm is a virtual ball-toss game that can simulate social exclusion and inclusion. Our aim is to evaluate how cognitive schemas can influence the perception and the evaluation of the experiences of social inclusion/exclusion. Thirty-two AN patients and 34 healthy controls completed a psychological evaluation and were randomly assigned to exclusion or overinclusion paradigm of the Cyberball task. Patients with AN showed a significantly higher level of maladaptive schemas as well as higher sensitivity to being ostracized by peers in comparison with healthy controls. Regression analyses identified specific significant relation between being ostracized and dependence/incompetence, negativity/pessimism, and self-sacrifice. Our findings provide evidence that patients with AN may be ineffective in expressing their mood in exclusive and overinclusive social situations. Specific cognitive/temperamental schemas might play a role in the way people communicate their feelings, and they could be considered targets for psychotherap...Continue Reading
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Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a psychiatric condition characterized by severe weight loss and secondary problems associated with malnutrition. Here is the latest research on AN.