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‘If Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder’ Available as Free Download

“If Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder: An Essential Resource for Parents,” which was published in a second edition by Oxford University Press in 2020, is now available as a free downloadable PDF from the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

The book, one in a series for parents of teenagers with adolescent mental health conditions, is an authoritative guide to understanding and helping a teenager who has or is at risk of developing an eating disorder, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder.

[Download the book here as a free PDF or read about the book on the publisher’s site.]

Cover of If Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderThe onset of eating disorders usually occurs around the start of or soon after puberty. One study following about 7,000 adolescents that evaluated the years between 1998 and 2001 found that 8% of the girls initiated purging behavior, and 12% of the girls and 5% of the boys began to binge eat.

Written by B. Timothy Walsh, M.D., and Deborah R. Glasofer, Ph.D., the book was developed for parents and others such as teachers and guidance counselors who are regularly in contact with adolescents. It combines recent scientific findings, including treatments and research findings on eating disorders, with practical wisdom from parents who have been raising teens with eating disorders.

Books for parents about adolescents

“If Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder” is part of a series developed by the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) and The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands. The initiative, which was launched in 2003, convened seven expert commissions on a variety of adolescent mental health issues as well as positive youth development.

Patrick E. Jamieson, Ph.D., series editor of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative and director of APPC’s Annenberg Health and Risk Communication Institute, said upon the book’s publication, “Once again, a collaboration of experts supported by the Annenberg Public Policy Center and published by Oxford University Press has produced a clearly written, invaluable resource for parents whose teen and young adult children are suffering from a mental health disorder — in this case, eating disorders.”

Angela Guarda, M.D., director of the eating disorders program at Johns Hopkins Hospital, described “If Your Adolescent Has an Eating Disorder” as “an excellent introductory guide for parents of teens and young adults … [that] provides pragmatic, factual information on eating disorders, how to access care for your child, and what to expect.”

The series includes four additional resource books for parents. Two additional books in the series — “If Your Adolescent Has Bipolar Disorder” and “If Your Adolescent Has Depression” — are being published in an updated format in May 2023 by Oxford University Press. A parents’ guide to the two conditions was previously published in a single, combined volume.

Earlier books in the series can be downloaded for free as PDFs in English and Spanish on APPC’s website under the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative. Visit

Other books for parents are: