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Psychopathology. 2003 Sep-Oct;36(5):239-46.

Body image disturbance, parental bonding and alexithymia in patients with eating disorders.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry, University of Parma, Parma, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To evaluate if body image disturbance and alexithymia, two major clinical features of eating disorders (ED), are predicted by an altered parental bonding.

SAMPLING AND METHODS:

64 female ED outpatients and 68 female healthy controls were assessed by means of the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), the Body Uneasiness Test (BUT), and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). Pearson's correlations and multiple stepwise regression analysis were applied to explore the contribution of PBI factors on BUT and TAS scores.

RESULTS:

BUT weight phobia, body image concerns, avoidance, depersonalization, Global Severity Index and positive symptom total were predicted by low parental care, while compulsive self-monitoring was predicted by parental overprotection. TAS total score and difficulty in describing feelings were predicted by low maternal care.

CONCLUSIONS:

Body image disturbance in ED may be conceptualized as a deficit in self-development, resulting from failures in parent-child interactions which impaired the ability to distinguish bodily needs from emotional experiences.

Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

PMID:
14571053
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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