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Fathers, Daughters and Food

Margo Maine, Ph.D.

2004 Hardback 288 pp.,
Print ISBN: 9780936077499
Print list price: $15.97 USD

The importance of fathers in the lives of daughters has long been underestimated. This book masterfully integrates sociocultural influences, developmental issues, and family dynamics into a comprehensive and reader-friendly explanation of how the father-daughter relationship may contribute to the development of eating disorders. It also provides constructive ideas for fathers, mothers, and daughters on how to repair this relationship and help daughters grow and thrive.

“Father Hunger” is the emptiness experienced by women whose fathers were emotionally absent, a void that leads to unrealistic body image, yo-yo dieting, food fears and disordered eating patterns. “Father Hunger” is a common phenomenon of Western culture, whose dictates and myths limit a father’s role, creating a loss for all family members. Dr. Maine also discusses practical solutions to help readers understand and improve their father/daughter relationships and help families reconnect.

The first edition of this book added the term “father hunger” to the psychology lexicon, to explain the emptiness, and resulting food and body-image disorders, experienced by women with physically or emotionally absent fathers. Based on ten years of further study, this second edition of Father Hunger details the origins of the syndrome and its effect on the family, with new practical solutions to help dads and daughters understand and improve their relationships.

Dr. Maine also introduces the concept of “Global Girls” which describes today’s adolescents in terms of the globalization of media, corporate marketing, and body image. An expanded section for educators and therapists offers strategies and techniques for preventing impasses in the
treatment process.

Reviews of Father Hunger

“The book offers healthy, well-balanced advice to family members and health practitioners. It is a unique book not only for its clinical insights for therapists but also for school counselors and educators as well. “
– Karen H. Jones, Ph.D.
The Prevention Researcher

“Fact one: Dads tend to withdraw from girls during adolescence. Fact two: Adolescent girls too often develop un-healthy eating behaviors. Put these two ideas together and you get a fascinating book called Father Hunger.”
Daughters: A newsletter for
parents of girls ages 8-18

“I found the book to be ‘carefronting’ in relationship to my own married daughter and granddaughter. . . an excellent systemic book for therapists as well. . . it has good theory, is reality based, and has practical suggestions. I enjoyed reading this book.”
– Ralph Earle, Ph.D. Past-President, AAMFT

“This powerful book clearly explains how a father’s emotional or physical absence can contribute to a daughter’s eating problems, body dissatisfaction, and low self-esteem.”
– Lindsey Hall, author
BULIMIA: A Guide to Recovery

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