British Journal of Clinical Psychology

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Volume 45 Issue 3 (September 2006), Pages 279-438

Father‐daughter relationship and eating psychopathology: The mediating role of core beliefs (pages 319-330)

Objective. The study aimed to establish the relationships between recalled paternal rearing behaviours, core beliefs and eating symptomatology and to test whether core beliefs play a mediating role between the father‐daughter relationship and eating psychopathology.

Design. Associations between eating psychopathology, core beliefs and recalled parental rearing behaviours were examined in women with and without eating disorders. Regression analyses were used to test whether core beliefs played a mediating role in the relationship between paternal rearing behaviours and eating psychopathology.

Method. Sixty‐six eating‐disordered women and fifty female controls completed three self‐report questionnaires measuring parental rearing behaviours, core beliefs and eating psychopathology.

Results. In eating‐disordered women, paternal rejection and overprotection were found to predict aspects of eating psychopathology via the mediating role of abandonment, defectiveness/shame and vulnerability to harm core beliefs.

Discussion. Core beliefs relating to feelings of abandonment and inherent defectiveness appear to be important in the relationship between unhealthy father‐daughter relationships and eating disorder symptoms.

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