Bulimic and non-bulimic college females’ perceptions of family adaptability and family cohesion


Lawrence H, Ganong, School of Nursing, University of Missouri-Columbia, S431 Nursing School Building, Columbia, Missouri 65211, USA.


Bulimia appears to be increasing among young women of middle to upper socioeconomic status. Although the aetiology of bulimia syndrome is not fully understood, family functioning patterns are thought to contribute to development of the disorder. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between self-reported bulimic behaviour in female college students and their perceptions of family adaptation and family cohesion levels. A sample of 308 subjects from three social sororities at the University of Missouri-Columbia completed a demographic questionnaire, the Bulimic Test (BULIT) and the Family Cohesion and Adaptability Evaluation Scale (FACES III). Twenty subjects were found to be bulimic, 21 incipient, and 267 non-bulimic. Analysis of data using the chi-square test resulted in a statistically significant relationship between self-reported bulimia and perceptions of family cohesion. No significant relationship was found between self-reported bulimia and family adaptation. Implications for nursing practice are discussed.