Family themes of food refusal: Disciplining the body and punishing the family

Chung Yee Zenobia Chan, Joyce L.C. Ma

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


A problematic issue in studying anorexia nervosa (AN) has been the absence of a qualitative study that probes the deep meanings of food refusal. We attempt to close this gap by studying the family meanings of food refusal by a single case study of a family in Hong Kong with an AN daughter. Eight videotapes of family therapy sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, were intensively reviewed, transcribed verbatim, and content analyzed. Two family themes of food refusal were discerned: the AN daughter disciplined her body and punished her family. The conclusions imply a need to revisit the Chinese gender role expectation in understanding AN patients and their families.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalHealth Care for Woman International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions(all)

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