Are single-parent families different from two-parent families in the treatment of adolescent bulimia nervosa using family-based treatment?

Angela Celio Doyle, Carmen McLean, Blaine N. Washington, Renee Rienecke Hoste, Daniel Le Grange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine whether family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescent bulimia nervosa (BN), which emphasizes family involvement in helping to reduce binge eating and purging behaviors, is differentially efficacious in single-parent families versus two-parent families. Method: Forty-one adolescents (97.6% female; 16.0 ± 1.7 years old) with either BN (n = 18) or subthreshold BN (n = 23) were randomized to FBT as part of a larger randomized controlled trial studying treatments for adolescent BN. Results: Two-parent (n = 27; 65.9%) and single-parent (n = 14; 34.2%) families were compared on demographic variables, presence of comorbid psychiatric illnesses, and symptoms of BN at baseline, post, and 6-month follow-up. ANOVA and chi-square analyses revealed no statistically significant differences between two-parent and single-parent families on any variables with the exception of ethnicity, for which a greater proportion of Caucasians and Hispanic families had two-parent families compared with African-American families (x 2 5 8.68, p = .01). Discussion: These findings suggest that FBT may be an appropriate and efficacious treatment for single-parent families as well as two-parent families, despite the reliance on parental intervention to reduce bulimic symptoms and normalize eating patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-157
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume42
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Bulimia nervosa
  • Family-based treatment
  • Single-parent families

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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