Perception of autonomy and intimacy in families of origin of patients with eating disorders with depressed patients and healthy controls. A Transgenerational perspective - Part I
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Arch Psych Psych 2010;12(4):69–77
Aim. The aim of the study was to assess the dimensions of family autonomy and intimacy in families of origin of patients with eating disorders, depression and in families of healthy girls. Method. We used the Autonomy and Intimacy scales of the Family of Origin Scale (FOS) to compare 112 females having different types of eating disorders with 40 depressed females and 85 schoolgirls in the Polish cultural context. Results. Bulimic and depressed females had statistically poorer results for FOS major scales and sub-scales compared with schoolgirls. Bulimic females had statistically poorer results than anorexia restrictive- type females for both FOS major scales, the intimacy subscales, and the autonomy subscales of clarity of expression, responsibility, and respect for others. Anorexia nervosa binge/purge-type patients had poorer results than schoolgirls on the autonomy subscale of responsibility and the intimacy subscale of responsibility but better results on the intimacy major scale and the subscale range of feelings compared with bulimic patients. Conclusions. These results suggest that difficulties in achieving autonomy and intimacy are not specific to eating disorder. The positive results for anorexia restrictive-type females suggests a defensiveness in the family relationships description.