Negotiating Maternal Identity: Mothers With Eating Disorders Discuss Their Coping

Rivka Tuval-Mashiach, Anca Ram, Tzippi Shapiro, Sharon Shenhav, Eitan Gur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This qualitative study used a focus group methodology to examine how mothers with ED perceive the impact their eating disorder has on their children and their relationships with them, as well as how their illness is impacted by motherhood. Through 10 session group meetings with 13 mothers, several themes emerged: (a) concerns about not being a "good enough" mother; (b) the child's involvement in his/her mother's eating disorder; and (c) strategies mothers employed to manage these challenges. Participants' discussions illustrated how motherhood could positively affect one's illness by acting as a normalizing experience and inspiring motivation to recover. Being aware of the distinct challenges and possible benefits of ED motherhood can help guide treatment plans that consider one's illness and parenting role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-52
Number of pages16
JournalEating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


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