Parental and Adult Attachment and Eating Symptomology in Eating Disorder Patients and Sine Morbo Individuals

Tamás Dömötör Szalai, Edit Czeglédi M.A.


Attachment can contribute to eating disorder symptomology through various paths, including emotion regulation. However, the relationship between parental and adult attachment and emotional eating and other eating disorder symptoms have been barely investigated on comparative samples. This cross-sectional, questionnaire-based online survey aimed to assess the relationship between parental and adult attachment qualities with the eating behavior severity, emotional eating, and the level of depression in 67 female anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder patients, compared to 67 female sine morbo individuals. Eating disorder patients less frequently had secure attachment, and were more often fearful or preoccupied than sine morbo individuals. In sine morbo individuals lower adult attachment security, but in patients, lower parental care was related to eating disorder symptoms. In sine morbo individuals, higher preoccupation, but in patients, higher fearfulness and lower care was related to emotional eating. Lower attachment security (OR = 0.54), younger age (OR = 0.93) and higher depression (OR = 1.04) explained 36.6% of the variance of diagnosed eating disorders. A complex interplay could be highlighted between dysfunctional attachment dimensions and eating symptomology in both groups—but with different patterns. Perceived parental care may be influential for eating disorder patients, whilst the degree of adult attachment security can be influential for sine morbo individuals. Lower attachment security was a predictor of eating disorders, which suggests the protective value of enhancing attachment security. However, further attachment-based interventions are required.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Paper Submission E-mail:

International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

Copyright © Redfame Publishing Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: