Underlying assumptions and core beliefs related to eating disorders in the mothers of overweight girls
Cooper M., Burrows A.
Little is known about the weight, shape and eating concerns of mothers with young, overweight daughters. Even less is known about how these relate to their daughters' concerns. In a small pilot study (18 mother-daughter pairs in each group), general concerns and specific beliefs related to eating disorders were assessed, both in the mothers of overweight girls and in the mothers of average weight girls. These were then compared with their daughters' concerns. The findings indicated that mothers with overweight daughters (aged 11 and 12 years) scored more highly than the mothers of average weight girls on both general concerns and specific beliefs (i.e., underlying assumptions about weight, shape and eating and negative self-beliefs) related to eating disorders. While assumptions in mothers were highly correlated with daughters' concerns in the average weight group, no such relationship was found in the overweight group. The findings are briefly discussed and suggestions are made for further research.