EXPLORING THE EXPERIENCES OF WOMEN WITH ANOREXIA NERVOSA IN COMMITTED ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS: A QUALITATIVE STUDY
Epstein, Norman B
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Eating disorders (EDs) significantly affect an individual’s quality of life and have the highest mortality rate of all psychological disorders. Therefore, understanding EDs is imperative for researchers and treatment professionals. EDs have a systemic impact; however, previous research largely focused only on impacts with adolescents and their families. The present study fills a gap in research on how Anorexia Nervosa (AN) influences adults within their romantic relationships. Qualitative data analysis was conducted by interviewing 9 adult women who ranged in age from 21 to 32, had been diagnosed with AN, and were in committed relationships for at least 6 months during some point in their recovery. Using grounded theory, their perceptions of how their ED symptoms and recovery interact with the functioning of their relationships were investigated. The results provide insight on the interaction between AN and romantic relationships and can aid in development of more effective couple therapy for individuals with AN.