Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology


The impact of familial relationships, as both protective and risk factors, on the development and treatment of eating disorders (ED) is a frequent topic of research (Cordero & Israel, 2009 Enten & Golan, 2009). However, Parental Gender Disappointment (PGD) as related to ED is one family dynamic that has not been studied. PGD may occur when a child is not born the gender of their parent's prenatal preference and the negative impact it can have on the child has been demonstrated (Stattin, 1991). This study sought to examine the potential relationship between Perceived Parental Gender Disappointment (PPGD) and ED through exploring 3 hypotheses. The 1st hypothesis stated there would be higher endorsement of PPGD among women with ED than among those without. The 2nd hypothesis submitted that participants with Anorexia Nervosa would more frequently endorse PPGD than participants with other ED diagnoses. Our 3rd hypothesis suggested that clinical group participants would have first names rated as being more masculine than non-clinical group participants. The clinical (ED) group was recruited through an online discussion forum dedicated to eating disorders and the non-clinical group was recruited through social networking. Both groups were screened for ED with a brief questionnaire developed to assist physicians in recalling 5 diagnostic questions by using the acronym SCOFF. Additionally, participants were asked to complete the researcher's Family and Gender Role Survey (FGRS). Means of PPGD scores from both groups were compared using an ANOVA. Additionally, an ANOVA was used to compare of means of PPGD scores among women from each ED diagnostic category. Finally, a third ANOVA was run to compare femininity-masculinity ratings of all participants' first names. While these analyses did not yield statistically significant findings, the clinical significance was highlighted by the participants' candid comments regarding their experience with PPGD. This qualitative data provided deeper insight into potential clinical impli

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