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Dr Russell Delderfield

Male Eating Disorders Research

Welcome to this site about qualitative research in male disordered eating.

Here you can:

*All of my research is reviewed by an expert panel at the University to ensure ethicality.


APA's journal the Psychology of Men and Masculinity

I'm pleased to announce that I have been asked to join the editorial board of this cutting edge publication, beginning my duties in 2021.

Awareness Raising Video for GPs

I lent my research expertise to this animation launched for Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2020 (#EDAW2020). The video was produced with funding from AHRC, by University of Nottingham & King's College London, AND created by WovenInk. The end result is good and I'm proud to have been asked to contribute to such a worthy project.

Don't forget that I offer free training in Male Eating Disorders as part of MaleVoicED's offer. Please consider checking out my colleague's previous project about male anorexia - Hungry for Words.   

Humane and revealing, this is a truly groundbreaking work. Ian Burkitt, Professor Emeritus, author of Social Selves

My book...

  • takes a novel approach to the study of male eating disorders – an area that is often dominated by clinical discourses
  • addresses the lack of dedicated attention to personal and socio-cultural aspects
  • spotlights personal accounts written by a group of men who have experiences of disordered eating
  • presents critical interpretations that aim to situate these experiences in the social and cultural context in which these disorders occur
  • is underpinned by an eclectic scholarly engagement with social psychology and sociology literature around masculinities, embodiment and fatness, belonging, punishment, stigma, and control; leading to understandings about relationships with food, body and self
  • is undertaken with a reflexive element, as the personal intersects with the professional.

Current responsibilities and roles

Researcher Development (Researcher Concordat and Vitae's UK Researcher Development Framework implementation)

Male Eating Disorders Research

Visiting Lecturer, King's College London



Curriculum Vitae

If you require this information in an alternative format, please contact our team.



Stoyel, H., Delderfield, R., Shanmuganathan, V., Stoyel, A. & Serpell, L. (2021) A qualitative exploration of sport and social pressures on elite athletes in relation to disordered eating. Front. Psychol. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.633490.

Delderfield, R., Suman-Riches, K., Ndoma-Egba, M. and Boyne, J. (2020) 'A learning development-faculty collaborative exploration of postgraduate research student mental health in a UK University' Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. 18 (October), pp.1-30.

Delderfield, R. (2019) Eating Disorders in Men, in Crilly, L. Hope with Eating Disorders, 2nd Ed, Chapter 8, pp. 193-209.

Delderfield, R. (2018) Male Eating Disorders: Experiences of Food, Body and Self. Palgrave MacMillan.

Delderfield, R. (2018) 'When the researcher is a 'wounded storyteller': exploring emotional labour and personal impact in research' Self & Society: An International Journal for Humanistic Psychology, 46(2), pp.34-39.

Bolton, G. with Delderfield, R. (2018) Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development, 5th Edition. SAGE Publications.

Delderfield, R. and McHattie, H. (2018) 'Person-centred dynamics in maths skills development: examining a case of good practice.Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education. 13 (April), pp.1-10, ISSN: 1759-667X. 

Delderfield, R. (2016) Freedom and chains: the duality of the university experience for young men with eating disorders. University and College Counselling Journal. Issue: May 2016

Delderfield, R. (2013) Coming out of the food cupboard: supporting young men with eating disorders. The Association for University & College Counselling Journal. Issue: March 2013.

Research Projects, Expertise and Supervision

  • Male eating disorders
  • Masculinities, Critical Men’s Studies, misandry and masculism
  • Qualitative methodologies & research philosophy with partic. focus on hermeneutics for qualitative psychology
  • Researcher development, including person-centred practice in doctoral education
  • Reflective Practice: its nature, impact and value.

My doctoral study was entitled Exploring male disordered eating: a hermeneutic study of men’s relationships with food, body and self. My work takes a social psychology approach, something that features rarely in the study of males, which is psychiatric-discourse dominated. I use stories to explore issues of identity, selfhood, gender, masculinities and eating disorder. I am also working on the nature of qualitative inquiry when using interpretive approaches such as hermeneutics, phenomenology, discourse analysis, narrative analysis, memory work, biographical work and dialogical analysis. I have varied expertise and interests, as such I'm also interested in pedagogic, andragogic, and heutagogic work that explores social and emotional aspects of learning in researcher development, person-centred practice and, in particular, reflective practice.


Pluralistic Qualitative Analysis of Men's Eating Disorder Experiences

This ambitious new research uses publicly available texts to experiment with using more than one qualitative analytical framework applied to the same set of data. I am aiming to explore whether using a pluralistic design can yield a more holistic and fulsome account of what men endure. For further information on the research design, please see the N-PQR blog (opens in new window).

In write-up

Male Eating Disorders: An Autoethnography

This project is being carried as an extension of work that began as part of my doctoral study. It applies autoethnographic methodology to my own experience of eating disorder. This means, in the feminist tradition, I am looking at using my own lived selfhood as the raw data for analysis. In write-up
LEARNING to Live and Work Together: Improving the Quality of Life for Vulnerable Migrant Students through Integrated Digital Technology Enhanced Support

Erasmus+ funding: 305k euros

This project aims to co- design and co-produce digital technology resources; a digital multi-media platform web-hub and a bespoke mobile application, alongside an integrated digital literacy and language toolkit for vulnerable migrant students. Digital literacy and language skills are becoming increasingly important in the modern world. However, digital technology innovation remains underexploited despite it's potential in transforming vulnerabilities for migrant students.

In progress
Exploring male disordered eating: a hermeneutic study of men’s relationships with food, body and self.

This PhD thesis passed without corrections in December 2016. The research monograph of my thesis is now published by Palgrave.



 Current PhD supervision

  • Gemma Jackson (with Dr Peter Branney)
  • Ruth Vaqari (with Dr Paul Sullivan).


Qualitative Methodologist Logo Grey

Abridged Professional History

Professional Experience

  • Lecturer in clinical education
  • Lecturer in education practice for Initial Teacher Training
  • Lecturer in reflective practice and professional development
  • Researcher Development, including PGR
  • Language resource centre manager for France Télécom 
  • Primary school teacher & senior management
  • Head of International English Language Education Centre
  • Counsellor
  • Trustee of a national charity.

Selected Qualifications

  • BA Hons (Interpreting and Translation, Dual Languages)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Compulsory)
  • Qualified Teacher Status
  • Postgraduate Diploma (Research Methods)
  • PhD.

Can body image problems affect our mental health?

I am the scientific advisor for the film collaboration between BBC Tomorrow's World and the Wellcome Trust. This film explores what it is like to live with body dysmorphia and how it can impact physical and mental health.

Title card of documentary


Before the BBC's Freddie Flintoff documentary, there was Millstone. This video is a documentary about male eating disorders by Florence Pellicani.

Eating Disorders in Men

Disordered eating, for the purposes of my research, vary from an official medical diagnosis by a doctor to cases where a man privately identifies with destructive or damaging behaviours around food and his own body.

I do not have a fixed idea on what form these may take, nor the severity of the habits or behaviour but there are some ideas below.

The following are not exhaustive, they simply provide some examples of experiences I'm interested in studying:

  • Compulsive feelings or behaviours around certain foods;
  • bingeing;
  • habitual controlling behaviours with food, such as constant weighing and measuring of foodstuffs to be consumed;
  • fasting or self-imposed starvation;
  • vomiting to get rid of unwanted food;
  • using laxatives to rid the body of excess food;
  • compulsive or excessive exercise;
  • routine over- or under-eating over sustained periods;
  • unable to stop striving for increased muscularity.


 You can find out more about eating disorders in men by visiting the MaleVoicED or BEAT website.