Family Functioning, Body Image, and Eating Disturbances

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Book Chapter

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The studies reviewed in this chapter highlight the reciprocal nature of family dysfunction and eating disorders. Family dysfunction and problematic communication styles may serve to exacerbate eating disorders, but individual resolution of eating disorders may serve to lessen family dysfunction. As research on family functioning, body image disturbances, and eating disorders becomes more sophisticated, greater attention should be paid to the mechanisms that help develop and maintain these problems, in addition to a greater exploration of the directionality of these mechanisms. Greater attention should also be paid to understudies family members (such as fathers and siblings) and understudied populations (such as diverse racial and ethnic groups) and to protective factors that might lead to better prevention programs to prevent the onset of body image and eating disturbances.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Family Functioning, Body Image, and Eating Disturbances, in J.K. Thompson & L. Smollak (eds.), Body Image and Eating Disorders in Children and Adolescents, American Psychological Association, p. 127-147.