Grazia Attili, Lorenza Di Pentima, Marco Magnani

Disturbi del comportamento alimentare, modelli mentali dell'attaccamento e relazioni familiari

  • Abstract

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This study aims to verify the following hypotheses: a) attachment processes are abnormal in eating disordered populations; b) eating disorders diagnostic subgroups are linked to different IWM; c) patients' evaluations of their family relationships' quality are in accord with their attachment style. Clinical sample is made up of 36 patients (mean age 15.7), with DSM-IV diagnoses of restricting anorexia, binge/purging anorexia and bulimia nervosa. To evaluate psychiatric morbility EAT-40 and SCL-90 were administered. Childhood experiences with parents were assessed by PBI. The modified version by Grazia Attili (2001) of Klagsbrun e Bowlby (1976) SAT was administered to assess patients attachment internal working models and these were compared to those of a control sample of 28 subjects (mean age 17.3). Results show for restricting anorexia a link mainly to avoidant/dismissing attachments and to a description of parenting such as "optimal", in accord to dismissive idealization of parents; purging anorexia associated mainly to "confused attachment", a new category discovered by Attili (2001), based on simultaneously figuring out every possible aspects of a separation and expressing in sequence contrasting emotions such as a reaction. Parenting is described by this subgroup in contrasting terms, i.e. such as optimal by mothers and as weak-absent by fathers. Bulimics were mainly disorganized and rated their mothers as more caring and more protective than Parker' control group; by contrast rated their fathers as less caring while more protective.

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