Parental caring versus overprotection in bulimia

R. Pole, D. A. Waller, S. M. Stewart, L. Parkin-Feigenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Since issues of empathy and control seem important in both the etiology and management of eating disorders, we investigated the relationship of parental caring and controlling to bulimia by administering Parker's Parent Bonding Inventory (PBI) to 56 patients with bulimia and 30 normal controls. Depressive symptomatology, a potentially confounding variable, was assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). Parenting style was perceived as being different by bulimics as compared with controls. Bulimics perceived their mothers as significantly less caring, and this difference approached significance for fathers. An analysis of covariance showed no significant effect from depression. These findings support the concept that bulimic patients experience different kinds of parenting experience than normals and this may have etiological and treatment implications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)601-606
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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