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26-12-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 5/2017

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 5/2017

Family Relations and Psychopathology: Examining Depressive and Bulimic Symptomatology

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 5/2017
Annette S. Kluck, Starla Dallesasse, Erin M. English
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Data collection for this research was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the doctoral degree for Annette S. Kluck.


Despite early theories suggesting that family dysfunction (FD) may cause disordered eating, FD has been linked with other disorders and is a non-specific risk factor for disordered eating. We examined one potential model of the way FD relates to disordered eating, drawing on research that identified depression as a risk factor for bulimia. We examined whether depression symptoms (DEPs) partially mediated the relationship between family cohesion (as a measure of FD) and bulimic symptoms (BNs) using a sample of 215 never-married college women under age 20. Perceptions that one’s family was less cohesive (or more disengaged) was associated with increased DEPs and BNs. Moreover, DEPs partially mediated the influence of cohesion on BNs through a significant indirect effect. Both family systems in general and treatment of mood difficulties may be important considerations in the prevention of disordered eating, and prevention efforts that include family relationships should be experimentally explored.

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