Fathers and Daughters: Their Relationship and Attachment Themes in the Shadow of an Eating Disorder.

Journal Name
Contemporary Family Therapy: An International Journal
Journal Volume
Journal Issue
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Hooper, Alexandra.
Dallos, Rudi.
Resource Type
Journal Article
Resource Format
This paper is a qualitative exploration of the relationship themes between a father and his daughter, when she has an eating disorder. It aims to explore the different themes within three father/daughter dyad interviews, to determine commonalities and trans-generational experiences. The Adult Attachment Interview was carried out with each of the participants, along with an open unstructured interview regarding their attitudes around the eating disorder. These interviews were then analysed using an interpretative analysis of the emerging themes, drawing upon Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, and also an analysis of more defended aspects of their narratives. Common themes emerged for each of the dyads: Distancing self from reality, History of power and abuse, Projected roles within the family, Critical of self and troubled relationships within the family and Loss. The findings suggest that each of the participants struggled to connect to the emotional content of the interviews. The paper concludes by exploring attachment in an attempt to understand the relationship between the father and his daughter, in relation to eating disorders. Clinical implications are offered, in respect to work with eating disorders and relational therapy. The implications are discussed both in terms of the findings of the research but also how the research process and methods can be incorporated into clinical practice. (Author abstract)

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