The Role of the Family in the Pathogenesis of Anorexia Nervosa

  • Otto Doerr-Zegers
  • Juan Petrasic
  • Eliana Morales


Already before the first studies about the family in schizophrenics appeared (Alanen 1958; Lidz 1958; Fleck 1960) some authors had called our attention on certain pecularities that repeated themselves notoriously in the families of the anorexics (A.Dührssen 1950; Bleuler 1954). During the past two decades, in Europe as well as in the U.S. and Japan, diverse studies about this problem have been published (H.Bruch 1965, 1974; Ishikawa 1965; E. Sperling 1965, 1970; A. H.Crisp 1970; O.Doerr-Zegers 1972, 1976; M.Selvini 1970, 1974; P. Jeammet 1973; S.Minuchin 1974, 1978, etc.), but there is as yet no consensus about the internal structure and dynamics of these families nor about the role that these factors could play in the genesis of the illness. Most of the authors have ascribed to the personality of the mother a very special role for the pathogenesis. Otherwise, Jeammet (1973), Massing (1974) and we (1976)have pointed out the great importance of the father’s function for developing an Anorexia Nervosa. Finally, the School of Goettingen, West-Germany (Meyer, Sperling, Massing,Beckers) always has insisted in the peculiar existence of a powerful grandmother within these families.


Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorder Scholar Achievement Active Rejection Deformating Arthritis 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Otto Doerr-Zegers
    • 1
  • Juan Petrasic
    • 1
  • Eliana Morales
    • 1
  1. 1.Hospital Psiquiátrico de Santiago/ChileSantiagoChile

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