Mother–Child and Father–Child Connectedness in Adolescence and Disordered Eating Symptoms in Young Adulthood.

Publication Year: 
2019
Personal Author: 
Hazzard, V., Miller, A., Bauer, K., Mukherjee, B., Sonneville
Type of Resource: 
Journal Article
Abstract: 

The aim of the study was to examine mother–child connectedness and father–child connectedness in adolescence as potential protective factors against a range of disordered eating symptoms in young adulthood among males and females.  This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (N = 13,532). Sex-stratified logistic regression models adjusted for demographic covariates were conducted to examine associations of youth-reported mother–child connectedness and father–child connectedness in adolescence (mean age = 15.4 years) with disordered eating symptoms in young adulthood (mean age = 21.8 years).  In this nationally representative sample of U.S. young adults, 7.2% of participants reported binge eating-related concerns, 3.7% reported compensatory behaviors (e.g., self-induced vomiting) to control weight, and 8.6% reported fasting/skipping meals to control weight. Among females, both higher mother–child connectedness and higher father–child connectedness were associated with lower odds of binge eating–related concerns (mother–child: odds ratio [OR] = .83, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .74–.94; father–child: OR = .79, 95% CI = .69–.91), compensatory behaviors (mother–child: OR = .85, 95% CI = .75–.97; father–child: OR = .81, 95% CI = .69–.95), and fasting/skipping meals (mother–child: OR = .79, 95% CI = .72–.87; father–child: OR = .81, 95% CI = .73–.91). No statistically significant associations were observed for mother–child connectedness or father–child connectedness with future disordered eating symptoms among males. These findings suggest that improving mother–child connectedness and father–child connectedness in adolescence may be valuable targets for eating disorders intervention, particularly among females. Info Only.