Cathy Maxwell

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Roth, Gene L.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Eating disorders--Psychological aspects; Eating disorders--Prevention


This study examined (1) methods used by individuals to recover from an eating disorder, (2) relationships between recovery and personal human development, and (3) prevention of second generation eating disorders in families. Interviews were conducted with eight individuals who had suffered from an eating disorder. The interviewees were asked to identify life changing events that occurred during the onset of recovery. Subjects were encouraged to make recommendations for second generation prevention strategies. Fifteen recovery methods were identified in this study. Twenty individuals who had been self-diagnosed with an eating disorder were screened. Eight individuals met the criteria for participation. The preferred criteria included suffering from an eating disorder at some point in their life, recovery or attempts at recovery from an eating disorder, minimum age thirty years, and parent of at least one child. Seven methods of recovery were used successfully by at least half of the subjects. These methods included intervention, spirituality, discovery of hunger, personal inquiry, individual counseling, exercise, and development of self-esteem. All subjects concluded that more than one method needed to be employed in the recovery process. Seven subjects identified building self-esteem through educational success as a significant factor in their own human development. The subjects identified five strategies for the prevention of a second generation eating disorder. These strategies included modeling good habits as a parent, recovering from their own eating disorder, letting children make their own food choices, educating children about health and nutrition, and talking to children openly and honestly about eating disorders.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [237]-248).


x, 259 pages




Northern Illinois University

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