Exploring the association between partner behaviors and eating disorder symptomology

Lisa Zak-Hunter, Lee N. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Research suggests an association between partner support and eating disorder (ED) symptomology in coupled women. However, no research describes whether time is a factor when examining routine partner behaviors that contribute to ED symptom severity. This study examined the relationship between supportive and unsupportive partner behaviors and ED symptom severity over a 3-month time period. Method: Fifty-eight women with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) identified helpful and unhelpful partner behaviors and ranked relationship support and symptom severity for the past 3 months using an event history calendar. Regression analyses examined the relationship between symptom distress and partner-support variables over 3 months. Results: Higher levels of helpfulness and relationship quality positively predicted partner-support levels. Partner distancing was predictive of increases in symptom distress. Discussion: Emotional or physical distancing or neglect aggravates symptom severity, which highlights the importance of addressing couple relationships in treatment and research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.


  • Couples
  • Eating disorders
  • Event history calendar
  • Symptomology


Dive into the research topics of 'Exploring the association between partner behaviors and eating disorder symptomology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this