Anorexic families and bulimic families: psychopathological risk and family functioning

Mimma Tafà, Eleonora Marzilli, Silvia Cimino, Luca Cerniglia, Fabrizia Bracaglia


The adolescent phase represents a difficult transition of the life cycle for both teenage child and the whole family. The Relational Systemic Theory describes it as a co-evolutionary process in which parents and children are equally involved in this difficult evolutionary challenge. For this reason the present study aims to investigate both the family functioning and the individual psychopathological features of family members. N=90 clinic families turned to public and private facilities in Central Italy, seeking support for female adolescents’ eating disorders, were divided in two groups according to the symptomatology manifested by adolescent and diagnosed by DSM 5. Two self-reports were given to parents and daughters separately: the SCL-90/R, that examines the psychopathological symptoms of the subjects, and the Faces IV, that measures family functioning. The results show that anorexic families have the worst functioning and adolescents of this group present the most intense psychopathological disturbances.

Keywords: Adolescence; Eating Disorders; Parental Psychopathological Risk; Family Functioning.

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  ISSN PRINT: 1125-5196  -   ISSN ONLINE: 1974-4854