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Title: Dysfunction in the families of anorexia nervosa and cystic fibrosis patients
Author: Blair, Caroline
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1994
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The present study compared the families of 27 Anorexia Nervosa patients with the families of 29 Cystic Fibrosis (CF) patients and a third group of 31 well controls. The individual child in each household was aged between 14 and 24. Assessment was carried out at baseline and at an eight month follow up. Data was collected via three modalities: (1) Self report questionnaires (2) the Camberwell Family which was rated for Expressed Emotion (EE) and (3) Observation of a family problem solving task which was rated for evidence of Minuchin's "psychosomatic family" dimensions. The self report measures of family functioning for the most part did not distinguish between the 3 groups. There were no differences between groups in levels of EE criticism. AN and CF households showed more emotional over-involvement (EOI) than did the well households and EOI correlated with severity of illness suggesting that this family characteristic is an illness related phenomenon. Mothers of both CF and AN patients showed more emotional disturbance than did mothers of well young people. There were more enmeshed and overprotective households in the AN group than in the CF and well groups. AN families were also less successful problem solvers than the other two groups giving partial support to Minuchin's conceptualization. The robust psychological health of CF patients found in previous research was replicated here and was in marked contract to the AN sufferers. No conclusive relationship was found between change in health status and change in household climate between baseline and follow up. This could in part be explained by design limitations. AN families were more likely to feel that they had been blamed for their child's illness than were CF families. A brief qualitative account of the AN and CF families in the study showed that they had had very different experiences of getting appropriate support.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available