Informing family approaches to eating disorder prevention: Perspectives of those who have been there

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Abstract

Objective: The study explored how aspects of the family environment may relate to the onset of eating disorders. Method: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 individuals currently receiving treatment for eating disorders. Data were analyzed using principles of content analysis. Results: Eight themes emerged regarding recommendations for families to prevent the onset of eating disorders: (1) Enhance parental support; (2) Decrease weight and body talk; (3) Provide a supportive home food environment; (4) Model healthy eating habits and physical activity patterns; (5) Help your children build self-esteem beyond looks and physical appearance; (6) Encourage appropriate expression of feelings and use of coping mechanisms; (7) Increase your understanding of eating disorder signs and symptoms; and (8) Gain support in dealing appropriately with your own struggles. Discussion: Our results can be utilized to generate new theoretical insights as to how parents can raise children with healthy weight-related attitudes and behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)146-152
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Eating disorders
  • Families
  • Home environment
  • Prevention

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