The study “Parenting styles and eating disorder pathology” was conducted by R.S. Enten and M. Golan and published in 2009. The purpose of their study was to find out whether there is a relationship between parenting styles and symptoms of eating disorders in their offspring.
The parenting styles they distinguished were permissive, authoritarian and authoritative, terms coined by Baumrind (1966). Parents with a permissive parenting style tend to have a laissez faire attitude, they do not set rules but give the child a lot of freedom and are responsive. In contrast to this, parents who have an authoritarian parenting style want their child to obey and are less responsive for the needs of the child. The authoritative parenting style is characterized by valuing both “autonomous self-will and disciplined conformity” (Baumrind, 1966, p. 891).That is, authoritative parents set clear rules and are responsive to the child at the same time. It is seen as the most adaptive parenting style as it was associated with “positive outcomes in child development across gender, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds (Davis, as cited in Enten & Golan, 2009, p.784).
The participants of the study at hand were recruited from an Isreali treatment center for eating disorders. Parents were asked to fill out the Parental Authority Questionnaire investigating if they belong to the authoritative, authoritarian or permissive parenting style. Their children had to fill out the Eating Disorder Inventory and the Eating Attitude Test. In addition it was recorded whether the patients recovered from their symptoms for at least one year.
Enten and Golan (2009) found that high scores on the authoritative parenting style correlated with low scores on body dissatisfacti...
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Blissett, J. J., Meyer, C. C., & Haycraft, E. E. (2011). The role of parenting in the relationship between childhood eating problems and broader behaviour problems. Child: Care, Health And Development, 37(5), 642-648.
Davis, C. L., Delamater, A. M., Shaw, K. H., La Greca, A. M., Eidson, M. S., Perez-Rodriguez, J. E., & Nemery, R. (2001). Parenting styles, regimen adherence, and glycemic control in 4- to 10-year-old children with diabetes. Journal Of Pediatric Psychology, 26(2), 123-129.
Enten, R. S., & Golan, M. (2009). Parenting styles and eating disorder pathology. Appetite, 52(3), 784-787.
Haycraft, E., & Blissett, J. (2010). Eating disorder symptoms and parenting styles. Appetite, 54(1), 221-224.
Lobera, I., Ríos, P., & Casals, O. (2011). Parenting styles and eating disorders. Journal Of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing, 18(8), 728-735.
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