Impact of Mothers on Daughters' Eating Habits Research Paper by Nicky

A research paper on whether mothers with eating disorders project unhealthy eating habits on their daughters.
# 151218 | 2,704 words | 11 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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The paper reviews a large amount of literature that indicates that mothers with eating disorders do in fact project unhealthy eating habits on their daughters, and that family dysfunction is predicative of eating disorders in adolescent girls. The paper finds that the proper education of mothers with eating disorders relating to dieting behavior is necessary to reduce the negative influence of these mothers on their daughters.

Review of Relevant Articles
Summary & Rationale

From the Paper:

"The work of Sanftner (1993) entitled: "Maternal Influences (or lack thereof) on Daughter's Eating Attitudes and Behaviors" reports a study in which "the relation between the eating-disordered attitudes and symptomology of daughters and mothers was explored in a sample of 382 fourth-through eighth-grade girls and their mothers." The Eating Disorder Inventory or the Eating Disorder Inventory for Children surveys were completed. Findings in this study report that the results "indicate that...before puberty there appear to be virtually no significant relationships between mothers' and daughters' eating attitudes and behaviors." (Sanftner, 1993) However, as the girls progressed through puberty "some relationships begin to emerge between mothers' weight preoccupation, dieting, and bulimic behaviors and their daughters' dieting and drive for thinness." (Sanftner, 1993) F
"Following puberty, the daughters were found to be "somewhat more likely to exhibit interpersonal distrust and interoceptive awareness." (Sanftner, 1993) It is reported that "at first glance these results may seem to support the contention that mothers are an important determinant of eating-related problems in their daughters and that they should be indeed targeted in treatment. However, careful interpretation of these data suggests otherwise." (Sanftner, 1993) It is reported that it appears from the data that "mothers and daughters are using similar means in their attempts to manage challenges they are faced with as females in this culture - challenges that become more salient as girls reach adolescence." (Sanftner, 1993) The results indicate that mothers have very little influence on the disordered eating behaviors of their daughters."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Agras, Stewart; Hammer, Lawrence, and McNicholas, Fiona (1997) A Prospective Study of the Influence of Eating-Disordered Mothers on Their children. Stanford University 1999. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Benninghoven, Dieter; Tetsch, Nina, Kunzendorf, Sebastian, and Jantschek, Gunter (2007) Body Image in Patients with Eating Disorders and Their Mothers and the Role of Family functioning. Comprehensive Psychiatry. 48. 2006.
  • Brain Theory of Eating Disorders (2005) BBC News. 5 Jan 2005. Online available at:
  • Fassino, Secondo, Amianto, Federico, Giovanni, Abbate-Data (2009) The Dynamic relationship of parental personality traits with the personality and psychopathology traits of anorectic and bulimic daughters. Comprehensive Psychiatry 50.
  • Francis, Lori A. and Birch, Leann L. (2005) Maternal Influences on Daughters' Restrained Eating Behavior. Health Psychology. 2005. Vol. 24, No. 6.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Impact of Mothers on Daughters' Eating Habits (2012, May 30) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Impact of Mothers on Daughters' Eating Habits" 30 May 2012. Web. 06 February. 2023. <>