Essay on Family Dysfunction and Anorexia: Is there a correlation?

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Family Dysfunction and Anorexia: Is there a correlation?


Each year millions of people in the United States develop serious and often fatal eating disorders. More than ninety percent of those are adolescent and young women. The consequences of eating disorders are often severe--one in ten end in death from either starvation, cardiac arrest, or suicide. Due to the recent awareness of this topic, much time and money has been attributed to eating disorders. Many measures have been taken to discover leading causes and eventual treatment for those suffering from anorexia. ( of Eating Disorders) )

Anorexia nervosa is a psychosociological disease which affects
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A Focus on the Family

Eating disorders appear to run in families-usually affecting only the women. One study found that mothers who are overly concerned about their daughters' weight and physical attractiveness--along with overly critical fathers and brothers-may put girls at increased risk of developing an eating disorder. ( ) Another study notes that, "inappropriate parental pressure was specific for eating disorders ... and Eating Attitudes Tests (ETAT) scores correlated significantly with hostlity toward child, sibling disability, parental overprotection, inappropriate parental pressures, and negative changes in family relationships." (Horesh, -Nefta) When the connection between eating disorders and familial traits was looked into, three interpretable factors were found by Steiger-eating concerns and symptoms, dramatic-erratic traits, and obsessive-compulsive traits. Correlations were also found among the subjects' factor scores--correspondences between daughters' and parents' psychopathological traits, and between daughters' and mothers' eating concerns.

Another controlled study of 51 teenage cases including a population sample done by Rastam found that 35 of the cases had a reasonably plausible background factor-based on a history

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