Interpersonal versus intrafamilial predictors of maladaptive eating attitudes in young women

John Worobey1
1Rutgers University, United States
Cite this article:  Worobey, J. (2002). Interpersonal versus intrafamilial predictors of maladaptive eating attitudes in young women. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 30(5), 423-434.

Volume 30 Issue 5 | e1181 | Published: August 2002 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2002.30.5.423

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This investigation examined associations between disordered eating attitudes and love-styles within interpersonal relationships, as well as between eating attitudes and intrafamilial relationships. A nonclinical sample of 258 undergraduate women was surveyed using an abbreviated version of the Eating Attitudes Test, the Love Attitudes Scale, and the Childhood Family Mealtime Questionnaire. As in previous research, love-styles characterized as obsessive and game-playing displayed associations with certain disordered eating attitudes. However, factors that related to the family's attitude toward physical appearance as based on weight showed stronger statistical associations with eating attitudes than did love-styles. While these results provide some support for romantic interpersonal relationships being a neglected aspect in studies of risk factors for eating disorders, how physical appearance is routinely discussed at family mealtimes during a young woman’s childhood may be a stronger index of her maladaptive attitudes toward food and dieting.
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