How do women under the care of eating disorder services experience sibling relationships: a phenomenological perspective

Smith, Jennifer Anne (2011) How do women under the care of eating disorder services experience sibling relationships: a phenomenological perspective. DClinPsy thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Item Type:Thesis (DClinPsy)
Item Status:Live Archive


Eating disorders are increasing in our society and prior research has considered
the role of families, carers, partners and children in the development of these
difficulties. Siblings, however, have been largely overlooked. The role of sibling
relationships is not well understood, despite siblings being a long term,
significant feature of many individuals with eating disorders’ lives. This study
aims to investigate the experiences of women with eating disorders and their
sibling relationships.
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to investigate the
lived experiences of three women with diagnosed eating disorders. The women
were interviewed, using a semi structured interview schedule designed for the
study, and transcripts were analysed closely, following the principles of IPA.
Three superordinate themes were identified for each participant. These are
‘Seeking Balance’, ‘Being Bad’ and ‘I Don’t Correlate’ for Amy, ‘Not Being
Noticed’, ‘Mealtimes are Stressful’ and ‘Everyone Runs Around After Her’ for Jo
and ‘Being The Runt’, ‘Being Pushed Out’ and ‘Lost Identity’ for Sarah. Four
subthemes were also identified. These were ‘Being Cut Off’ for Amy, ‘Being
Pushed Out’ and ‘Shying Away’ for Jo and ‘Being Ridiculous’ for Sarah.
The sibling relationships in this sample were characterised by competition,
rivalry, lack of understanding, conflict and distress. Many of the experiences
shared were negative and were related as damaging to the individual.
However, each relationship also contained strengths and all participants desired
improved relationships and closeness with their siblings. Findings are
discussed in terms of their implications for our current knowledge and further

Additional Information:A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Lincoln for the degree of Doctor of Clinical Psychology
Keywords:Eating disorder, Family relationships
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:17442
Deposited On:14 May 2015 15:49

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