Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

First Advisor

Marilyn Patterson

Second Advisor

Edward Doerr

Third Advisor

Mary Utley


In this study, the constructs of autonomy and intimacy which were key concepts in the separation-individuation process were studied in relation to eating disorder symptomology. Eating disordered individuals receiving counseling were compared to a non-clinical sample of graduate and undergraduate students. The hypothesis tested was that eating disordered women will perceive their family as significantly less healthy as compared to non-eating disordered women. This was determined by the overall score of perceived family health as measured by the Family of Origin Scale. At-test for independent samples indicated a significant difference. The researcher also hypothesized that non-eating disordered women would report their families as encouraging autonomy and intimacy more than eating disordered women. This was evaluated by the two subscales for autonomy and intimacy of the Family of Origin Scale. According to at-test for independent samples there was a significant difference in autonomy and intimacy between the two groups. There was no relationship between body mass index and Family 9f Origin Scale score for either group. There was no significant difference in body mass indices between the non-eating disordered and eating disordered women.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License