Family environment in anorexia nervosa and Bulimia

Stephen L. Stern, Katharine N. Dixon, David Jones, Marla Lake, Elaine Nemzer, Randy Sansone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


The Family Environment Scale (FES), an instrument that evaluates several aspects of family functioning, was given to 114 young women subjects and a parent of each. Twenty subjects had restricting anorexia nervosa (AN), 13 had bulimic AN, and 24 had normal‐weight bulimia, whereas 57 were age‐matched controls. The score of each subject and her parent was averaged on each FES subscale to derive a family score. One‐way analyses of variance, used to compare the 4 subject, 4 parent, and 4 family means, revealed significant differences on 5 of the 10 FES subscales: cohesion, expressiveness, conflict, achievement orientation, and activerecreational orientation. These data, together with those of other investigators, suggest that the family environment in eating disorder families differs in important ways from that of normal families. The possible significance of these findings is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-31
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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