•  
  •  
 

Modern Psychological Studies

Volume

26

Number

1

Department

Dept. of Psychology

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is one of the main, and one of the most common types of eating disorders among adolescent individuals, especially females. It is characterized by limited eating, increased amounts of physical activity, low self-esteem, and extreme criticism of oneself and one’s body. An individual diagnosed with AN is greatly physically, mentally, and emotionally affected by it. However, an AN diagnosis also has a significant impact on the whole family. In recent years, the family has been incorporated into the treatment of an individual diagnosed with AN, which has shown to be effective in the recovery process and in reducing relapse incidences. Using a family systems framework, I reviewed a little over 20 scholarly peer reviewed articles to further investigate the impact of having a relative diagnosed with AN on the family as a whole. Having an individual with AN was found to have both adverse and positive effects stemming from shifts in family dynamics and relationships. Overall, parents and well-siblings experience physical and psychological distress as their new role of caregiver leads to increased internalizing behaviors, emotional difficulties and exhaustion, feelings of guilt, fear, and frustration. With their new role, well-siblings find themselves constantly conflicted and caught between their ill-sibling and their parents. Some of the positive effects of a diagnosis of AN in a family includes individual personal growth, increased family unity and solidarity, increased empathy, and increased knowledge of eating disorders.

Keyword

anorexia nervosa; family; family systems; well-siblings; caregivers

Document Type

Article

DCMI Type

Text

Language

English

Rights

http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.