The link between family identification, loneliness, and symptom severity in people with eating disorders

McNamara, N. ORCID: 0000-0003-3123-3678, Wakefield, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-9155-9683, Cruwys, T., Potter, A. ORCID: 0000-0003-4462-212X, Jones, B. ORCID: 0000-0001-8872-5847 and McDevitt, S., 2022. The link between family identification, loneliness, and symptom severity in people with eating disorders. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 32 (5), pp. 949-962. ISSN 1052-9284

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Abstract

Families play an important role in eating disorder (ED) recovery, and it has been suggested that they can ameliorate the loneliness associated with EDs. However, the psychological mechanisms through which this occurs have yet to be systematically explored. Utilising the Social Identity Approach to Health, we explore whether identification with one’s family group positively predicts health in people with self-reported EDs due to its potential to reduce feelings of loneliness. We investigate this in two online questionnaire studies (N=82; N=234), one conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic and the second conducted in its early stages. In both studies, mediation analyses demonstrated that family identification was associated with fewer and less severe self-reported ED symptoms, and in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced self-reported ED-related impact and anxiety. In both studies, these benefits were suggestive of a protective role of family identification against loneliness. Our findings provide a framework for understanding in general why families can be considered an important social recovery resource and should be included in the treatment of adult EDs. Please refer to the Supplementary Material section to find this article’s Community and Social Impact Statement.

Item Type: Journal article
Alternative Title: Family identification and eating disorders [running head]
Publication Title: Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology
Creators: McNamara, N., Wakefield, J., Cruwys, T., Potter, A., Jones, B. and McDevitt, S.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: September 2022
Volume: 32
Number: 5
ISSN: 1052-9284
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/CASP.2606DOI
1512952Other
Rights: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: McNamara, N., Wakefield, J., Cruwys, T., Potter, A., Jones, B., & McDevitt, S. (in press). The link between family identification, loneliness, and symptom severity in people with eating disorders. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1002/CASP.2606, which will be published in final form. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions. This article may not be enhanced, enriched or otherwise transformed into a derivative work, without express permission from Wiley or by statutory rights under applicable legislation. Copyright notices must not be removed, obscured or modified. The article must be linked to Wiley’s version of record on Wiley Online Library and any embedding, framing or otherwise making available the article or pages thereof by third parties from platforms, services and websites other than Wiley Online Library must be prohibited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Feb 2022 11:03
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2022 13:24
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/45468

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