Lost Alongside My Daughter with Anorexia Nervosa A Mother’s Story

Kathryn Weaver, Kristine Martin-McDonald, Judith Spiers


We used narrative principles to represent the story
of a mother caring for her adolescent daughter hospitalized
with anorexia nervosa. The data were greeting cards, daily
letters written by the mother to her daughter, and audio-taped
individual interviews with the mother and daughter. We
identified themes or categories of information (e.g., settings,
relationships, temporality, and voice elements) within the
mother’s story, and re-storied them into a chronological plot
incorporating the mother’s struggle and its resolution.
Narrative threads of seeking a clearing, drawing strength,
taking stock, ethic of repair, fending off the beast of starvation,
and homecoming were identified. Together these threads
comprise the core story of “lost alongside my daughter” that
describes the mother’s overarching concern for the daughter’s
immediate and future well-being while seeking a pathway to
contribute to her daughter’s care in a meaningful way.


eating disorder; narrative research; motherdaughter relationship

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