A prospective study of the influence of eating-disordered mothers on their children
Article first published online: 19 MAR 1999
Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 25, Issue 3, pages 253–262, April 1999
How to Cite
Agras, S., Hammer, L. and McNicholas, F. (1999), A prospective study of the influence of eating-disordered mothers on their children. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 25: 253–262. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-108X(199904)25:3<253::AID-EAT2>3.0.CO;2-Z
- Issue published online: 19 MAR 1999
- Article first published online: 19 MAR 1999
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 AUG 1997
- National Institutes of Health. Grant Number: HD25492
- eating disordered mothers;
- female offspring;
- maternal concern
This study examined the effects of eating disordered mothers on their children.
Women with a past or present eating disorder (ED; N = 41) and non-eating disordered women (NED); N = 153)) and their offspring were followed prospectively.
Female infants of ED mothers sucked significantly faster and were weaned 9 months later than offspring of NED mothers. ED mothers fed their children on a less regular schedule, used food for nonnutritive purposes, and demonstrated significantly higher concern about their daughters' weight than NED mothers from 2 years of age onward. At 5 years, the offspring of ED mothers were reported to demonstrate greater negative affect than the offspring of NED mothers.
The female offspring of ED mothers demonstrate a high avidity for feeding early in life which, combined with increased maternal concern over their daughters weight and the use of food for nonnutritive purposes, may pose a serious risk for the later development of an eating disorder. © 1999 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 25: 253–262, 1999.