Date of Award
College of Liberal Arts
Type of Degree
Marc A. Lindberg
Leonard J. Deutsch
Pamela L. Mulder
The impact of family of origin dynamics on the development and maintenance of eating disorders is well documented in the literature. This study sought to investigate the attachment relationships and personality characteristics of eating disordered subjects by administering the Attachment and Personality Dynamics Questionnaire (APDQ). It was hypothesized that the eating disordered subjects would show a pattern of insecure attachments to primary caregivers and significant others in comparison to controls. A total of 23 eating disordered females and 297 female control subjects completed the APDQ. The t tests for the 29 scales of the APDQ revealed lower means for the eating disordered subjects on scales measuring secure attachment to mother, father, partner, and peers. A discriminant function analysis determined that the family suppression of feelings, shame, sexual intimacy, denial, and abuser scales best distinguished between the eating disordered subjects and the controls. Further, standard deviations across all scales were higher for the eating disordered group. Dominant attachment styles were computed for each subject, revealing that the majority of eating disordered subjects had avoidant attachment styles to mother, father, and partner, and the majority of control subjects had secure attachment styles to all three figures. Thus, the APDQ may prove to be a helpful device for clinicians who want to assess attachment and personality variables in this population.
Eating disorders – Psychological aspects.
O'Pell, Colleen D., "Attachment and the development of eating disorders as measured by the “APDQ”" (1997). Theses, Dissertations and Capstones. 1778.