Background: Studies on Infantile Anorexia (IA) found correlations among irregular feeding patterns, negative and willful behaviors by the toddlers, and mother–child conflict during feeding. Moreover, mothers' insecure/disorganized models of attachment, drive for thinness, bulimia, and depression also correlated with mother–child conflict. Little empirical information is available on the links between IA and the subsequent development of eating disorders and a few studies have addressed the course of early feeding problems. Aims: 1) To identify an association between maternal psychopathology and dysfunctional interactional patterns in a sample of mothers and their children diagnosed with IA; 2) To evaluate, through a follow-up of the original infantile anorectics, their health, growth and emotional development, comparing treatment and non-treatment outcomes. Method: 72 children, diagnosed with AI, and their mothers were examined at 2, 5, 7 years, compared to a longitudinal sample of normally developing children. Children with IA and their mothers, who were not in psychotherapeutic treatment, were also compared with a group of 33 children with IA and their mothers in treatment. Results: The natural course of IA highlights the risk of a continuity of the child’s eating disorder (lack of enjoyment of food, food fussiness, selectivity, and phobias) and emotional dysregulation (moodiness, aggressive behaviors, somatic complaints) compared to controls; the maintenance of these difficulties involved continuity of maternal psychopathology. In comparison with the children and their mothers, in psychotherapeutic treatment, we found significant differences as regards to an improvement in children’s malnutrition and emotional regulation. Conclusion: this study demonstrates that early intervention on parenting can facilitate children’s self-regulation of eating, healthy growth and emotional development.
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|Titolo:||A 5 years follow-up study on treatment and non-treatment of infantile anorexia|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Tipologia:||4.1 Contributo in Atti di convegno|