This paper sought to examine parental variables as predictors of long-term outcome in women with bulimia nervosa (BN). Participants were 94 treatment-seeking women with BN who were assessed at baseline, treatment end, and at follow-up (M=10.13 years). Participants reported rates of psychopathology and obesity in their mothers and fathers at baseline. The most frequently reported parental psychopathology was substance abuse in fathers. Chi-square analyses indicated that substance abuse in fathers was associated with poor treatment-end outcome in BN participants. Depression in mothers was associated with poor outcome at long-term follow-up, and obesity in mothers was associated with better outcome at long-term follow-up. A logistic regression analysis found that lifetime mood disorder in participants and severe depression in mothers were independent predictors of bulimic symptoms at long-term follow-up. The association between maternal severe depression and long-term outcome in BN suggests that specific parental variables may indicate longer course of BN.
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