Alexis Hernandez-Hons, PsyD, and Scott R. Woolley, PhD, Marital and Family Therapy, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University.
Women’s Experiences with Emotional Eating and Related Attachment and Sociocultural Processes
Article first published online: 27 JUL 2011
© 2012 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 589–603, October 2012
How to Cite
Hernandez-Hons, A. and Woolley, S. R. (2012), Women’s Experiences with Emotional Eating and Related Attachment and Sociocultural Processes. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38: 589–603. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00239.x
- Issue published online: 15 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 27 JUL 2011
This study explored the experiences, influences, and concerns of women who eat for emotional reasons with an emphasis on relational and cultural factors. Colaizzi’s (1978) guidelines to analyzing phenomenological research were utilized to explore participants’ lived experiences and gain a deeper understanding of emotional eating. A number of unique themes connecting attachment-related influences with emotional eating were identified. The following 10 theme clusters were developed: Personal and Cultural Foundation, Preoccupation With Food and Eating, Relationship History, Addiction as Coping Mechanism for Insecure Attachment, Moments of Empowerment and Acceptance, Self-Judgment About Eating and Weight, Social Influences on Eating and Weight Gain, Secretive Eating, Emotional Eating as Reminiscent of Ambivalent Attachment, and Emotional Hunger. Clinical interventions and future research are discussed.