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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Exploring Types of Family Environments in Youth with Eating Disorders.

  • Author(s): Darrow, Sabrina M
  • Accurso, Erin C
  • Nauman, Emily R
  • Goldschmidt, Andrea B
  • Le Grange, Daniel
  • et al.

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While many studies have explored the relationship between different eating disorder diagnoses and the familial social environment, current evidence does not support associations between distinct family interaction patterns (e.g. high enmeshment) and particular diagnoses (e.g. anorexia nervosa). The current study seeks to move beyond the current literature to explore whether empirically derived subtypes of family environment are associated with clinical features within a transdiagnostic sample of youth seeking treatment for eating disorders (n = 123). Latent class modelling of the Family Environment Scale identified three classes (i.e. different Family Environment Scale profiles): (1) Control-Oriented; (2) System Maintenance-Oriented; and (3) Conflict-Oriented. Data are presented to characterize the classes (e.g. age, gender, rates of different eating disorders, severity of eating disorder pathology and rates of comorbid disorders). These preliminary results suggest that family interaction types may help personalize treatment for eating disorders and encourage future research to guide such efforts. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

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