Observed connection and individuation: Relation to symptoms in families of adolescents with bulimia nervosa

Sarah A. Thomas*, Renee Rienecke Hoste, Daniel Le Grange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: To examine the relation between observed familial connection and individuation and adolescent bulimia nervosa (BN) symptoms. Method: As part of a treatment study for adolescent BN, adolescents (n = 54) and their parents participated in a videotaped semi-structured interview. Participants were rated on observed connection and individuation from these interviews using the Scale of Intergenerational Relationship Quality and two measures of connection. Results: There was a significant negative relation between individuation from parents and adolescent BN symptoms. Connection both to and from mothers and adolescents was negatively associated with BN symptoms. Increased eating concern was significantly associated with a greater likelihood of expressing a desire for more connection with the family. Discussion: Investigating and understanding family factors present at the time of adolescent BN may assist in providing treatment specific to the needs of the family to best aid the adolescent's recovery process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-899
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume45
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Bulimia
  • Connection
  • Family
  • Individuation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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