The purpose of the current study is to create a comprehensive composite measure of parental influence based on previously developed measures to clarify the underlying dimensions of parental influence and to determine the degree to which parental influence relates to body image and dysfunctional weight concerns. Previously published literature was reviewed for measures of parental influence, and items from 22 measures were condensed and combined into a single questionnaire, which was completed by 367 female undergraduate psychology students. Two dimensions emerged from a principle components analysis: Direct Influence, which includes weight and eating related comments, and Modeling, which includes parental modeling of dieting and related behavior. Direct Influence and Modeling were significantly related to eating disturbance, such as drive for thinness and bulimic symptomatology. Overall, the results integrate the previous literature and clarify the underlying dimensions of parental influence. Further, this study provides directions for future research related to the development and maintenance of body image and eating disturbance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This manuscript is based on the first author's undergraduate honors thesis, and the support for the purchase of study-related measures was provided by University of North Florida Undergraduate Enrichment Program.
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- Body image
- Eating disorders
- Parental influence