Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Development and Family Science


Kamala Ramadoss

Second Advisor

Rachel Razza


Adolescence;Adolescent Development;Eating Disorders;Parenting;Parenting Practices


Eating disorders in adolescents have increased in recent years. Risk factors for eating disorders come from many domains of life, though there seems to be a gap in knowledge on the effects of family environment, more specifically parenting practices, and their influence on eating disorder pathology. This paper seeks to investigate parenting practices as risk factors for eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN), in adolescents. Given increased prevalence, there is a need for updated conversations on risk factors and influences on eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa to contribute to new prevention and intervention efforts. A secondary data analysis was conducted using data from the National Longitudinal Survey’s NLS97 dataset. A multinomial logistic regression was conducted using MPlus 8.7 to determine whether presence of certain parenting practices is associated with eating disorders in adolescents. Three groups were compared: those who selected they had a mental health condition, those who selected “eating disorder” from the list of conditions, and those of the “normative” group of those who did not select that they had a mental health condition. The regression was broken down into three models: those with variables related to the mother, those with variables related to the father, and one full model. Significant results in all three models demonstrated that females had a higher odds of being in the eating disorder category compared to the normative category and that Black participants had a higher odds of being in the normative category than White participants. Non-significant results showed a potential pattern of those with parents of the permissive parenting style may have higher odds of being in the normative category. Main limitations of this study include small sample size and vague and exclusionary questionnaire material. Future research should further investigate patterns of demandingness and responsiveness within parenting styles and how it could be associated with a subsequent eating disorder diagnosis.


Open Access



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.