This paper examines parents' actions in response to anorexia nervosa, and how these are shaped by the ways they construct or understand the eating disorder. The findings indicate that parents try to influence their daughters by searching for help, providing practical support, avoiding confrontation, complying with special requirements, persuading, explaining, and pressuring, using ploys and force, providing emotional support, and mediating interactions. Parents' actions are influenced by how they construct anorexia, such as whether they see it as an eating issue, an illness, a psychological problem, a choice, or a mystery. Understanding parents' actions and constructions can help clinicians develop collaborative partnerships with parents. Copyright © 2005 Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group.