Cultural factors in collegiate eating disorder pathology: when family culture clashes with individual culture.
- Author(s): Tomiyama, A Janet
- Mann, Traci
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.3200/jach.57.3.309-314
OBJECTIVE: The authors evaluated the validity of familial enmeshment (extreme proximity in family relationships) as a risk factor for eating disorders across cultural value orientations. They tested the hypothesis that although familial enmeshment may be a risk factor for eating disorder pathology for (1) participants of non-Asian descent or (2) culturally independent participants, enmeshment will not be a risk factor for (1) participants of Asian descent or (2) culturally interdependent participants. PARTICIPANTS: 255 undergraduate women participated. METHODS: Participants completed questionnaires on cultural value orientations, enmeshment, and eating disorder pathology. RESULTS: As hypothesized, enmeshment was related to eating disorder pathology in non-Asian American and culturally independent participants, but not in Asian American and culturally interdependent participants. CONCLUSIONS: Depending on cultural values, enmeshment may or may not be a risk factor for eating disorders. This study highlights the importance of examining risk factors in the appropriate cultural framework when considering college student mental health.