[Attachment patterns, self-esteem, gender schema in anorexia and bulimia nervosa]

Barbara Józefik, Grzegorz Iniewicz, Romualda Ulasińska
Psychiatria Polska 2010, 44 (5): 665-76

AIM: The aim of the study was comparison of perception of attachment patterns between adolescent girls suffering from anorexia nervosa (restrictive type), bulimia nervosa and healthy peers. Moreover, we tried to find the differences between the groups in self-esteem and identification with the culture-defined sex role.

METHOD: We examined 40 patients with anorexia, 32 with bulimia and 63 girls from the comparison group. Three questionnaires were used: Parental Bonding Instrument, The Culture-Free Self-Esteem Inventory and Psychological Sex Inventory.

RESULTS: Results indicate that the parents' emotional commitment in relations with daughters from the clinical sample is weaker, and they are controlled by parents more then those from the control group. In all groups, the mothers' emotional commitment correlates positively with daughters' social self-esteem. In the anorectic group, fathers' control correlates negatively with daughters' identification with the culture-defined feminine role. In the bulimic group, fathers' emotional commitment correlates positively with self-esteem as well as daughters' identification with the culture-defined masculine role.

CONCLUSIONS: The results concerning the bonds between the ED patients and their parents indicating dysfunctions of the bonds are generally consistent with the data from literature. Additionally they show the relationship between quality of the bonds between the patients and parents and its influence on development of self-evaluation and a sense of feminity/masculinity in anorectic and bulimic girls.

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