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Abstract

Anorexia nervosa burdens individuals with an unyielding obsession with weight loss and food restriction, ultimately leading to extreme emaciation and even death (Kaye, Fudge, & Paulus, 2009). This disorder most often plagues adolescent females, with estimates of prevalence in 0.2% to 1% of adolescent girls (Mirsa et al, 2011). Current literature suggests family relationships and dynamics, rather than blaming individual family members, are essential in understanding and ultimately treating the disorder for adolescent girls. This paper will review the literature on family relationships and dynamics conducive to disordered eating among daughters, as well as examine the findings regarding supportive family environments. Additionally, this paper will evaluate the interplay of genetics and environment in the development of anorexia. Given the cited impact the family has on the etiology of anorexia, this paper will note the importance and strengths of family therapy for the treatment of a daughter’s anorexia.

Faculty Mentor

Michael D. Reiter, Ph.D

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