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Keywords:

  • eating disorder;
  • maturity fear;
  • Parental Bonding Instrument;
  • paternal care;
  • self-injurious behavior

Aim:  The goal of the study was to investigate the correlations among parental bonding patterns, eating disorders (ED) and self-injurious behavior (SIB).

Methods:  The subjects were 80 patients with ED who were divided into two groups based on those that had (n = 25) and had not engaged in SIB at least once in the last month. The patients and 120 healthy control subjects were evaluated using the Eating Disorder Inventory and the Parental Bonding Instrument.

Results:  On the Parental Bonding Instrument, the ED + SIB group showed significantly lower paternal care compared with the ED/no SIB and control groups. On the Eating Disorder Inventory, the ED + SIB group showed higher body dissatisfaction, and increased maturity fear compared with the other two groups. The total scores and perfectionism and interoceptive awareness differed significantly among the three groups.

Conclusion:  ED + SIB patients had a more severe ED pathology than ED/no SIB patients, and also felt that they had received low paternal care during childhood. Therefore, paternal care may be linked to severe ED pathology.