Parents, Is It Your Fault? Effects of Familial Variables and Emotional Intelligence on Disordered Eating Habits and Attitudes

Student Name: Joelle Lau
Major: Psychology
Minor: Earth Sciences
Advisor: Susan Clayton
Literature on eating disorders acknowledges the importance family influences have on its development. To further investigate familial influences, the current study examines the relationship between disordered eating habits and attitudes and familial factors, including family mealtime frequency, parental weight teasing and criticism, and parental habits and attitudes towards dieting and weight. Data were collected through a questionnaire that included questions from the Eating Disorder Examination-Questionnaire and the Schutte Self-Report Emotion Intelligence Test. The findings reveal that parental weight teasing and criticism and unhealthier parental habits and attitudes towards dieting and weight positively correlate with greater disordered eating habits and attitudes of both men and women. In contrast, family mealtime frequency and emotional intelligence act as protective factors, even after controlling for Body Mass Index and emotional intelligence. Moreover, family variables appear to have stronger influences on the disordered eating habits and attitudes of females than males due to societal expectations.

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Joelle will be online to field comments on April 16: 10am-noon EDT (Asia: evening,  Africa/Europe: afternoon).

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study.