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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Family transactional patterns associated with the symptom of anorexia nervosa Grigg, Darryl Norman


A family systems perspective was taken for exploring intra-familial transactional patterns of relationship related to anorexia nervosa. Father, mother, and daughter assessments of parental initiative and daughter responsive behaviors as reported on Benjamin's Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB) are combined to serve as data for a hierarchical cluster analysis. Out of the 22 families with an anorexic child and the 22 matched control families, 7 family clusters were identified by the clustering procedure with unique family dynamics differentiating one from another. Average family cluster profiles are established and examined. Benjamin's program Figure (FIG) is used to explicate central family transactional dynamics of the family clusters, 3 of which were exclusively comprized with an anorexic daughter. With no single family pattern of relationship characterizing the families of the symptomatic children being identified, the study challenges earlier family theories which postulated an anorexogenic family system, and supports a broader, complex multi-familial view of anorexics and their families.

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