Disordered eating and emotion dysregulation among adolescents and their parents

Erika Hansson, Daiva Daukantaité, Per Johnsson

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Research on the relationships between adolescent and parental disordered eating (DE) and emotion dysregulation is scarce. Thus, the aim of this study was to explore whether mothers' and fathers' own DE, as measured by SCOFF questionnaire, and emotion dysregulation, as measured by the difficulties in emotion regulation scale (DERS), were associated with their daughters' or sons' DE and emotion dysregulation. Furthermore, the importance of shared family meals and possible parent-related predictors of adolescent DE were explored.

METHOD: The total sample comprised 1,265 adolescents (M age  = 16.19, SD = 1.21; age range 13.5-19 years, 54.5% female) whose parents had received a self-report questionnaire via mail. Of these, 235 adolescents (18.6% of the total sample) whose parents completed the questionnaire were used in the analyses. Parents' responses were matched and compared with those of their child.

RESULTS: Adolescent girls showed greater levels of DE overall than did their parents. Furthermore, DE was associated with emotion dysregulation among both adolescents and parents. Adolescent and parental emotion dysregulation was associated, although there were gender differences in the specifics of this relationship. The frequency of shared dinner meals was the only variable that was associated to DE and emotion dysregulation among adolescents, while parental eating disorder was the only variable that enhanced the probability of adolescent DE.

CONCLUSION: The present study contributes to the literature by demonstrating that there are significant associations between parents and their adolescent children in terms of DE, emotion dysregulation, and shared family meals. Future studies should break down these relationships among mothers, fathers, girls, and boys to further clarify the specific associational, and possibly predictive, directions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Psychology (501)


  • Adolescents
  • Disordered eating
  • Emotion dysregulation
  • Parents
  • Shared meals


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