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Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2015 May-Jun;43(3):91-8. Epub 2015 May 1.

Parental rearing and eating psychopathology.

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Centro de Salud Ciudad Real 3. Ciudad Real.
Servicio de Psiquiatría. Hospital General Universitario de Ciudad Real.
Departamento de Psicología. Universidad de Castilla La Mancha. Albacete.
Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Valencia.
Facultad de Medicina. Universidad de Extremadura.



The aim of the study was to identify the relationship between perceived rearing styles and the clinical expression of Eating Disorders (ED).


One hundred and ninety-six patients diagnosed of an ED and 127 healthy student as controls selected from the Nursing College were evaluated for general psychopathology (STAI, BDI II, RSE), and for abnormal eating attitudes (EAT, EDI-II, BITE). The EMBU (‘my memories of upbringing’) was administered for the assessment of perceived parental rearing styles and was used a questionnaire to assess familial variables.


In relation to the control group, patients with ED perceived greater rejection, overprotection and less warmth than the controls. Patients who perceived greater paternal favoritism, maternal overprotection and low paternal emotional warmth, showed higher levels of anxiety. Paternal affection and maternal attitudes of rejection, overprotection and favoritism were related to lower self-esteem. Regarding abnormal eating attitudes, body dissatisfaction inversely correlated with paternal emotional care and maternal favoritism. The EDI subscales: ineffectiveness, perfectionism and ascetism were associated to parental rejection. Maternal rejection also related with drive for thinness, interoceptive awareness and impulse regulation. Perceived emotional warmth was related with perfectionism. Bulimia subscale and BITE scores were inversely associated to paternal overprotection and affection, and scored significantly higher in paternal favoritism and rejection from both parents.


Perceived parental bonding is different in the various subtypes of EDs. Patients diagnosed of Bulimia Nervosa or Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified perceived greater rejection, less affection and a greater overprotection than Anorexia Nervosa patients and controls.

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