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ABSTRACT: The experiences of eight young women with excess weight were explored using a semi structured interview consisting of open ended questions and also the Child Attachment Interview (CAI). Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis indicated four group themes around participants' experience of having excess weight; emotional regulation, focus on family relationships, lack of control and sense of self. The CAIs indicated that many of the young women had adopted a caring role in their families, which were often characterized by conflict within family relationships. Dismissing their own vulnerability and emotional needs in preference for self reliance was the dominant attachment strategy adopted by participants. It is suggested that obesity is a complex condition and one that requires an understanding of each individual's experiences and relationship with food, in order to offer treatment that is most likely to be effective.
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry 11/2011; 17(4):538-52. DOI:10.1177/1359104511426411