Fathers’ experiences of their sons’ eating disorder

Posted 28/06/2019


This study aims to explore fathers’ experiences of their sons’ eating disorders.

What is the purpose of the research?

This research forms the basis of a counselling psychology doctorate thesis. There is currently a lack of research considering fathers’ experiences when they have a son with an eating disorder.  Without any research, we cannot know how to effectively support fathers, and whether their needs, if any, are being met. In a situation where little is understood or known about a phenomenon, a good starting point is to simply give fathers an opportunity to voice their experience, should they wish to. The knowledge gained can contribute towards raising awareness about fathers’ experiences and potential needs. This could help tailor support services to fathers who have sons experiencing an eating disorder. This study has received ethical approval.

Who can take part?

I will be interviewing fathers (aged 18 and over) whose sons experienced an eating disorder between the ages 16 and 24 years (current or past). A formal diagnosis of an eating disorder is not necessary. This study understands an eating disorder as “serious emotional and physical illnesses in which sufferers use food and sometimes exercise in different ways to manage difficult circumstances in their lives and the feelings that come with them” (Men Get Eating Disorders Too). A good grasp of the English language is required. 

What does the study involve?

The study involves a one-to-one interview of approximately 1 – 1.5 hours. Interviews would be face-to-face, at an agreed location and timing that suits you. The location would be either Regents University London or a room in a public library if it takes place outside of London. I am willing to travel anywhere in the UK. Travel expenses for participants are available up to £50

How can someone take part?

If you are interested in taking part or have any further questions, please contact the researcher, Kirsty Manning, by email: S17003174@regents.ac.uk.

Director of studies: Dr Russel Ayling, AylingR@regents.ac.uk
Supervisor: Helen Damon, DamonH@regents.ac.uk