[Interdependencies between the actual self-image and the actual image of parents in women with anorexia nervosa]

Beata P Pawłowska, Maria Chuchra
Psychiatria Polska 2005, 39 (4): 773-83

AIM: The aim of the study was to answer the following research problem: what dependencies occur between actual images of women with anorexia and actual images of their mothers and fathers in their daughters' perception? TEST GROUP AND METHOD: The examined group consisted of 30 patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, undergoing treatment at the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical University in Lublin. The average age of the examined females was 21 years. All patients had a secondary level education. The actual images were examined using the Gough and Heilbrun Adjective Check List (ACL), which was completed by the patients three times following the instruction: "I am", "my mother is", "my father is".

RESULTS: Statistically significant positive correlations were obtained between actual images of the patients and their mothers in 10 ACL scales, whereas between actual images of the patients and their fathers--in 15 scales.

CONCLUSIONS: 1. Dependencies between the images of the patients and their mothers (in the daughters' perception) were found regarding self-control, order, diligence, loyalty, autonomy, confidence and avoiding conflicts. 2. The following relationships occur between the images of the patients and their fathers (in their daughters' perception) regarding self-evaluation, autonomy, aggression, understanding the motives of one's own behaviour, self-confidence, ability to cope with stress, nurturance and spontaneity. 3. The images of patients are connected both to the images of their mothers as well as fathers as regards: self-confidence, self-reliance, sense of one's effectiveness, autonomy, narcissism and difficulties in abandoning subordinated children's roles.

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