Narrative constructions of anorexia and abuse: an athlete's search for meaning in trauma

Anthony Papathomas, David Lavallee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)


Interpretive approaches to the study of eating disorders are scarce. Narrative analysis provides an attractive means to address this shortfall and is applied to the life story of Beth, a former elite athlete with experience of anorexia nervosa and, as she revealed, sexual abuse. Six unstructured life history interviews took place yielding more than 9 hours of interview data. Throughout our conversations, Beth constructed multiple, fragile, and sometimes contrasting narrative coherences indicative of a fragmented and uncertain understanding of her life. It is argued that how Beth makes sense of her trauma is consequential for her future experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-318
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Loss and Trauma
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


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