Expressed emotion among white and ethnic minority families of adolescents with bulimia nervosa



Expressed emotion (EE), a measure of a relative's attitudes and behaviours towards an ill family member, has been found to be related to treatment outcome for both anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). Although cultural and ethnic background can influence the way in which family members interact, very little is known about cultural differences in EE among families of an eating disordered adolescent. As part of a treatment study for adolescent BN, 55 patients and 84 parents participated in a structured interview, from which EE ratings were made. White and ethnic minority families were compared on five subscales of EE as well as overall level of EE (high vs. low). No significant differences were found between white and minority families. These findings are consistent with previous studies suggesting that white and minority families of eating disorder patients may share several similarities. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.