Early parenting experiences and attachment styles: How they shape emerging aspects of self in anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder | Eating Disorders Victoria
Home News Research Projects Early parenting experiences and attachment styles: How they shape emerging aspects of self in anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder

Researchers at Swinburne University are conducting a study to help us understand how parenting factors including parental shaming, emotional invalidation and parents’ views about emotional expression influence the development of eating disorders.

What is this research project about?

First, we consider the impact of these parenting experiences on various intervening factors including your attachment style, that is how you relate to others, and self processes including your relational and body self esteem, self esteem fluctuations and true and false self expressions. This model is examined to determine how parenting, attachment and self aspects differentially contribute to the development of specific eating disorders. The study is part of Mrs Natalie Szmerling’s PhD thesis on eating disorders.

What is involved?

The study involves completing questions about your early experiences with your parents, attachment styles, four aspects measuring self and self esteem and eating disorder symptoms. The study will take approximately 40-50 minutes to complete.

Privacy and Confidentiality

The survey is anonymous and there is no identifying information requested.

Future use of data

De-identified information collected may be used in peer reviewed publications but will be presented in group fashion ensuring anonymity is preserved. A small amount may be used as part of the Developmental Psychology laboratory report and non-identifiable data may be used in future research activity. The information may be kept for at least 7 years or 5 years after any published output, whichever is the longer.

Possible side effects

Some participants may experience psychological distress when answering certain questions involved in the survey. Participation is voluntary and can cease at any time. If participation has caused concerning distress, please contact a doctor or mental health professional or a support service such as Lifeline (13 11 14) or Eating Disorders Victoria (1300 550 236). Individuals residing outside Australia can contact a local service or Befrienders Worldwide.

If you are interested in participating in this anonymous survey go to this web link and follow the prompts. 

If you have any questions or comments about the study, please forward them on to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Senior Investigator).

Your interest and participation in this study are greatly appreciated.

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