Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP


Mothers of daughters with eating disorders are at risk for experiencing high levels of psychological distress, which can have negative implications for mothers themselves and the children under their care. Coping strategies that effectively manage the stress of the caregiving role have been found to reduce psychological distress, but the literature does not clearly define the type of coping that is best indicated for this population of caregivers. Coping via social problem solving has been found to predict less psychological distress and moderate the stressdistress relationship in many caregiver populations. The relationship between stress, coping via social problem solving, and psychological distress was explored; it was hypothesized that stress related to being a mother of a daughter with an eating disorder and social problem solving would predict the level of experienced psychological distress, and that social problem-solving skills would moderate the stress-distress relationship. The present study was able to replicate the finding that mothers of daughters with eating disorders are highly distressed, and was unsuccessful at finding social problem-solving skills to predict psychological distress or moderate the relationship between stress and distress. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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Psychology Commons