ERIC Number: ED337741
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Bulimia Nervosa: A Review of Family Characteristics.
Lau, DeeAnne Karyl
The purpose of this literature review was to demonstrate that a family systems conceptualization of family dysfunction could be applied to bulimic families. In general, self-report and observational family characteristics studies support the hypothesis that bulimic families, like anorectic families, have significant systemic dysfunction in comparison with normal families. However, bulimic families appear to differ from a tightly-knit, rigid, and conflict-avoidant psychosomatic family model that typifies anorectic families. Instead, bulimic families are perceived as disorganized; that is, lacking in effective controls and strategies for coping with problems and change. They are also perceived as being conflict-escalating. Problem solving and communication are perceived to be impaired. Finally, bulimic families appear to be ambivalently enmeshed. In tasks, roles, and behaviors, members are seen as enmeshed. However, in emotional expression and support, members are viewed as disengaged. Future research in family characteristics as they relate to bulimia nervosa needs to improve in quality. It will require the use of appropriate controls, standardized measures, standardized diagnostic categories, multiple vantage points, and longitudinal studies to determine the effect of early parenting styles versus autonomous, constitutional factors on the development of eating disorder in an individual. (ABL)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Family Systems Theory
Note: Doctoral Research Paper, Biola University.