Presentation (Project) Title

“Forgotten Children”: Siblings of Adolescents with Eating Disorders

Mentor Information

Christina Salnaitis (Department of Psychology)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

With over 30 million people in the United States impacted by an Eating Disorder and the high mortality rate associated with the diagnosis, research has investigated a plethora of different forms of treatment. One of the most common treatments is Family- Based Therapy, which often dives into the parent and diagnosed child’s relationship, however, there is little focus on the impact of the diagnosis on the sibling(s). In this study, we will be analyzing adults who grew up with an adolescent sibling diagnosed with an eating disorder. These siblings are known throughout this study as “forgotten children”. The main goal of this research is to examine, qualify, and describe the experiences of siblings of adolescent with an eating disorder. In doing so, this study will investigate whether the siblings of adolescents with an eating disorder have been impacted, negatively or positively, into adulthood due to the diagnosis. It will also serve to quantify the impact of the diagnosis and resulting experiences using a variety of measurements; depression, anxiety, coping skills, perseverance, resilience, personality traits, and drug usage. The study will investigate correlations between the measurement metrics that may reveal relationships specific to siblings of adolescents with an eating disorder. The results of this study will allow researchers to delve further and focus more on siblings of adolescents with eating disorders, especially when focusing on the familial element of the disorder. The results will also serve as a reflection of these siblings and allow their voices and experiences to be heard.

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“Forgotten Children”: Siblings of Adolescents with Eating Disorders

With over 30 million people in the United States impacted by an Eating Disorder and the high mortality rate associated with the diagnosis, research has investigated a plethora of different forms of treatment. One of the most common treatments is Family- Based Therapy, which often dives into the parent and diagnosed child’s relationship, however, there is little focus on the impact of the diagnosis on the sibling(s). In this study, we will be analyzing adults who grew up with an adolescent sibling diagnosed with an eating disorder. These siblings are known throughout this study as “forgotten children”. The main goal of this research is to examine, qualify, and describe the experiences of siblings of adolescent with an eating disorder. In doing so, this study will investigate whether the siblings of adolescents with an eating disorder have been impacted, negatively or positively, into adulthood due to the diagnosis. It will also serve to quantify the impact of the diagnosis and resulting experiences using a variety of measurements; depression, anxiety, coping skills, perseverance, resilience, personality traits, and drug usage. The study will investigate correlations between the measurement metrics that may reveal relationships specific to siblings of adolescents with an eating disorder. The results of this study will allow researchers to delve further and focus more on siblings of adolescents with eating disorders, especially when focusing on the familial element of the disorder. The results will also serve as a reflection of these siblings and allow their voices and experiences to be heard.