Adolescents’ eating disorders have been explored through various conceptual and empirical models. Only recently, scientific literature in this area has more specifically investigated the role of relationships, with particular attention to family functioning. Objective:
This paper reviews family relationships aspects of eating disorders in adolescence. Methods:
A narrative literature review of relational issues in adolescents’ eating disorders was performed. Results:
Empirical evidence of family relationships in adolescents’ eating disorders confirms the relevance of relational aspects in the development and maintenance of the pathology. In particular, the contribution of the relational-systemic approach is wide, suggesting the need to refer to the family context for a better understanding of adolescents’ sufferance. Additionally, the empirical contributions from the conceptual model of Developmental Psychopathology, highlighting the importance of risk and protection factors in family relationships, provides knowledge about the phenomenon of adolescents’ eating disorders in terms of complexity. Conclusions:
An integrated relational model aimed to explore adolescents’ eating disorders is worthy of investigation to accomplish specific program of intervention.
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