Date of Graduation
This cross-sectional study examined a continuum of eating disturbances in a predominantly White community sample of late-adolescent young women and their mothers, the relationship between mother-daughter eating and weight control practices, and the affective quality of mother-daughter and father-daughter attachment. Daughters (N = 87) and mothers (N = 83) completed the Questionnaire for Eating Disorder Diagnosis (Mintz, O'Halloran, Mulholland & Schneider, 1997) and the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 (Garner, 1991). Daughters (N = 87) completed the Parental Attachment Questionnaire and mothers (N = 83) and fathers ( N = 31) completed the Revised Parent Measure (Kenny, 1990). The findings support use of the continuum model of eating disorders with late-adolescent young women and their midlife mothers. Eating disorder symptomatology for mother and daughter groups increased with placement on the eating disorder continuum. The findings also support a relationship between mother-daughter dietary and weight control practices. Significant positive correlations were detected between mother-daughter eating disorder symptomatology. Continuum classifications were associated for mother-daughter pairs and a 3:1 odds ratio was calculated for daughters of mothers classified as symptomatic/eating disorder to also be classified as symptomatic/eating disorder. No significant relationship between daughters' eating disorder classification and the quality of mother-daughter attachment was detected; however, for the fathers and daughters, young women with greater symptomatology perceived poorer quality of attachment, in terms of understanding, acceptance, availability and warmth, less respect for their individuality and less fostering of autonomy.
Melcher, Jan L., "The mother-daughter relationship: Attachment and disordered eating in female adolescents and their mothers." (2002). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9410.