alexa A six-year prospective study on children of mothers with eating disorders: the role of paternal psychological profiles.


Abnormal and Behavioural Psychology

Author(s): Cimino S, Cerniglia L, Paciello M, Sinesi S

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Several studies have suggested that maternal eating disorders (EDs) represent a significant risk factor for children's affective and behavioral development. Yet, little emphasis has been placed on the paternal role. OBJECTIVES: The present longitudinal study aimed to clarify the role of maternal EDs and the influence of paternal psychological profiles on children's emotional development. METHOD: Our sample was composed of N = 64 families with firstborn children selected through preschools, primary schools, and outpatient clinics in central Italy. Parents and children participated in a 6-year longitudinal protocol that included a diagnostic interview conducted by clinicians (Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders [SCID-I]), a self-report (Symptom Checklist-90-Revised [SCL-90-R]), and a parental report-form questionnaire (Child Behavior Checklist [CBCL]). RESULTS: The influence of mothers' EDs on their children's emotional development was confirmed. Moreover, fathers' anxiety and obsessive-compulsive problems in association with mothers' EDs and depressive symptoms influenced the onset of both internalizing and externalizing difficulties in their children over time. CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that fathers' psychopathological risk affects the development of emotional problems in children with mothers who have EDs. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association. This article was published in Eur Eat Disord Rev and referenced in Abnormal and Behavioural Psychology

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