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Abstract

The family environment, specifically parent-child interaction and parenting practices, can influence the likelihood of adolescents—especially teenage girls—developing an eating disorder. Because of the high levels of control and warmth, authoritative parenting appears to be the most promising setting for adolescents to avoid disordered eating behaviors and to develop strong mental and physical health. Parenting styles such as authoritarian and neglectful parenting include practices that generally may not be supportive and can contribute to the likelihood of eating disorders. Once a teenaged girl develops an eating disorder, authoritative parenting has also shown the most potential to intervene appropriately to assist the teen. While other factors are involved, this literature review discusses how these parenting styles influence teens in helping or hindering an adolescent’s choice to engage in disordered eating behaviors.

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