Patterns of attachment and reflective functioning in families of adolescents with eating disorders
Seah, Elizabeth Jane Izett
Prof. Jan Piek
Dr Lynn Priddis
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School of Psychology & Speech Pathology
This study investigated attachment patterns and mentalising capacity of adolescent girls with eating disorders, their mother’s reflective capacity, and family functioning. Girls with eating disorders scored higher rates of insecure attachment, lower attachment coherence and higher hypermentalising than non-clinical girls. Although mothers’ reflective functioning did not differ between groups, a proportion of clinical mothers scored very low reflective functioning compared to controls. Clinical families presented with higher depression, anxiety, communication difficulties and conflict.
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