Article

Depressive tendencies and lower levels of self-sacrifice in mothers, and selflessness in their anorexic daughters

Department of Psychology, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
European Eating Disorders Review (Impact Factor: 1.38). 05/2008; 16(3):184-90. DOI: 10.1002/erv.840
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT (1) To compare levels of selflessness (the tendency to ignore one's own needs and serve others') and asceticism of parents and daughters, in anorexic and control families. (2) To investigate the relationship between parents' depression and daughters' selflessness. Twenty-eight anorexic daughters and their 28 mothers and 23 fathers were compared to 29 control daughters and their 29 mothers and 28 fathers, participants were administered the Beck Depression Inventory, the Selflessness Scale, the asceticism scale of the Eating Disorder Inventory and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV. Anorexics' mothers showed significantly lower levels of selflessness and asceticism compared to control mothers; anorexic daughters showed significantly higher levels of selflessness and asceticism compared to control daughters. Depressive tendencies in anorexics' mothers were associated positively and significantly with their daughters' selflessness. The results support the clinical literature that depicts the anorexic daughters' readiness to sacrifice themselves for the family's needs. Clinical implications are drawn.

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    • "Family risk factors have been suggested in the understanding of eating disorder pathology [9] [36] [42]. Most studies and theories however, have focused extensively on the daughter–mother relationship [3] [5] [12] [30] [32]. Recently, data have shown that the father's parental style is also related to eating behavior. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Mother-daughter relationship was the focus of studies on the development of eating disorders (ED) for many years. This study aimed to examine the association between the father-daughter relationship and ED and depressive symptoms. Methods: Fifty-three women diagnosed with ED were compared to a psychiatric control group (n = 26) and to healthy participants (n = 60) regarding their perception of their fathers and the relationship with them. Assessments were done using the Parental Bonding Instrument, the Eating Disorders Questionnaire, the Body Shape Questionnaire, the Eating Attitude Test, and the Beck Depression Inventory as well as narrative-based methods. Results: Fathers' negative attributes were significantly associated with ED and depressive symptom. Two profiles of father-daughter relationship were found, the "caring and benevolent'' relationship and the "overprotective and avoidant'' one. In the latter, patients displayed significantly higher levels of foodrestraint, more concerns about eating and about their body shape and appearance, and higher levels of depression. Discussion: Negative perception of the father's parenting style as well as the quality of the relationship with him are crucial for the understanding of the development and persistence of ED. Therapeutic programs for ED should focus not only on the relationship with the mother but must also address the relationship with the father.
    European Psychiatry 06/2014; 30(1). DOI:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2014.04.004 · 3.44 Impact Factor
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    • "With a self-report measure – the selflessness scale (Bachar et al., 2002) – empirical support was found for the clinical observation depicting the anorexic patient's attunedness to her mother's needs. Bachar et al., (2008) found a significant correlation between mothers' depressive tendencies and an increase in their anorexic daughters' tendency to ignore their own needs and serve others' as well as an increase in their selflessness level. In another study, Bachner-Melman, Zohar, Ebstein, and Bachar (2007) found that the anorexics' selflessness levels decrease in accordance with the decrease in their symptomatology level. "
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    • "With a self-report measure – the selflessness scale (Bachar et al., 2002) – empirical support was found for the clinical observation depicting the anorexic patient's attunedness to her mother's needs. Bachar et al., (2008) found a significant correlation between mothers' depressive tendencies and an increase in their anorexic daughters' tendency to ignore their own needs and serve others' as well as an increase in their selflessness level. In another study, Bachner-Melman, Zohar, Ebstein, and Bachar (2007) found that the anorexics' selflessness levels decrease in accordance with the decrease in their symptomatology level. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examines the expression of selflessness – the tendency to ignore one’s own needs and serve others’ needs – in Rorschach protocols of women suffering from anorexia nervosa. The protocols of 35 women suffering from anorexia nervosa were compared to 30 protocols of a psychiatric comparison group. A multivariate analysis of variance over five variables (AG, PER, PHR, COP, and GHR) was significant: Anorexic patients showed higher characteristics of selflessness compared to the psychiatric comparison group. These findings contribute to the validation of the Rorschach technique and to the clinical observation of selflessness in anorexic patients, and they emphasize specific characteristics in the treatment of anorexia nervosa patients.
    Rorschachiana Journal of the International Society for the Rorschach 01/2012; 33(1):78-93. DOI:10.1027/1192-5604/a000028
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