EATING disorders have traditionally been associated with disturbed family function. Most empirical data regarding this issue, however, were gathered from eating disorders patients. Attitudes, function, and inter-personal relationships were examined within 16 families with a member suffering from bulimia nervosa (BN) and compared to 16 matched healthy families. Perception of family function was significantly more derogatory in bulimic subjects than in their parents, while in control subjects and parents, perception was largely congruent. Subjects suffering from BN perceived their families as less cohesive, adaptable, and supportive than did healthy subjects. No such difference in perception of family function was observed between parents of respective groups. This preliminary study shows that parent-daughter discrepancy in perception of family function may prove more characteristic of eating disorder families than any particular deficit. Future research should aim to replicate these findings, incorporate them into treatment paradigms, and employ them to monitor treatment outcome.