This article reviews the key themes within the literature around the potential impact of the father-child relationship on the development and maintenance of Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa in young people.The critical review searched relevant health and social care databases, as well as manually searching key journals in the eating disorder field.
Interestingly, parental psychopathological risk predicts adolescents’ specific perception of their family functioning.
These findings may guide clinical interventions as they suggest that distinct maternal psychopathological symptoms can be associated with a variety of clinical configurations in their offspring, whereas paternal psychopathological risk may be present in adolescents suffering from all forms of eating disorders.
Epidemiological studies on adolescents with eating disorders demonstrate a high prevalence of disordered eating behaviors, with a higher prevalence of eating disorders among girls.
Several studies have recently demonstrated an association between female adolescents’ eating disorders, parental psychopathological risk, and an impaired family functioning with poor quality of the relationships among family members.
Such core beliefs were most closely related to the individuals' perceptions of having grown up in a 'chaotic' family environment.
Future clinical practice should continue to target core beliefs in formulating cases of eating disorders.
Explaining those core beliefs may depend on understanding the individual's experiences of invalidation in early years.
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
There are disproportionately fewer studies examining the role of the father in the development of child and adolescent psychopathology.