Attachment style and family functioning as discriminating factors in eating disorders

Yael Latzer*, Zipora Hochdorf, Eitan Bachar, Laura Canetti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study sought to examine the extent to which family environment and attachment styles are concurrently related to eating disorders. The Adult Attachment Scale and the Family Environment Scale were administered to 25 anorexic and 33 bulimic female patients at intake in an eating disorder clinic, and 37 age-matched female controls. Eating disorder patients were found to be less secure, more avoidant, and more anxious than controls. The families of eating disorder patients were found to be less cohesive, expressive, and encouraging of personal growth than were controls. Low encouragement of personal growth and uncertain attachment styles may be manifestations of family difficulties in supporting the child during the process of separation individuation, and exploration of the outside world.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)581-599
Number of pages19
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Attachment styles
  • Eating disorders
  • Family environment

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