[The self-acceptance and the acceptance of the parents by patients with anorexia nervosa]

Beata Pawłowska, Maria Chuchra
Psychiatria Polska 2004, 38 (6): 1031-42

AIM: The aim of this work is to describe the relationship between self-esteem and characteristics of self image and acceptance of parents and the characteristics of their images in the perception of patients with anorexia nervosa.

METHOD: The test group consisted of 30 patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa undergoing a treatment in the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical Academy in Lublin. The average age of the examined patients was 20 years. All patients had secondary education. In my work the ACL Gough and Heilbrun Adjectival Test was used which was completed by the examined women three times following the instruction: "I am", "my mother is", "my father is". As a result the actual images of the patients as well as of their mothers and fathers were obtained. The esteem rates were calculated by comparing the number of positive adjectives to the number of negative adjectives used by the patients to evaluate individual persons. The interdependencies between esteem rates and the characteristics of the actual images of these persons were determined based on the r-Pearson correlation.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: The results obtained indicated the existence of crucial statistic dependencies between the variables analysed and constituted the basis for the formulation of the following conclusions: 1. Patients are characterised by a low self-esteem and a low acceptance level of their parents. They accept their fathers in the smallest degree, compared to that their self-esteem is higher and the acceptance of their mothers is the highest. 2. Self-esteem is related in a significant way to the characteristics of self image such as: sense of responsibility, autonomy, ability to accomplish life objectives and establishing close relationships with other people. 3. The acceptance of their mothers is related to the characteristics typical of them such as: protectiveness, ability to establish and maintain positive interpersonal relationships, empathy and understanding the motives of their own behaviour and those of other people. 4. The acceptance of their fathers is related in a significant way to such characteristics discerned in them as: perseverance, ability to work hard, protectiveness, responsibility and ability to cope with tasks and problems and establishing close relationships with other people.

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