Psychiatry Investig Search


Psychiatry Investigation 2007;4(1):41-8.
Childhood Features which Correlated with the Evolving Course of Anorexia Nervosa
Youl-Ri Kim, MD1; and Laura Southgate, PhD2;
1;Eating Disorders Clinic, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea, 2;Eating Disorders Unit, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
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The aim of this study was to determine the extent to which the childhood features correlate with the evolving course of anorexia nervosa (AN).


All participants with a lifetime diagnosis of AN (restricting or binge purging subtype) were from our volunteer database maintained by the eating disorders research register at Institute of Psychiatry in London. By 3 years after entry to the register, 65 participants continued to fulfill the criteria for AN, 40 participants had moved to develop a bulimic spectrum disorder, and 37 participants had remitted. We performed comprehensive assessements of the developmental factors based on an adapted form of the McKnight Risk Factor Scale to identify which features correlate with the course of AN.


Those subjects with restricting AN were more likely to continue their disease. Those with binge purging AN were more likely to undergo a later transition to a bulimic spectrum disorder. Those with continued AN were less likely to report emotional overeating in childhood. Those whose disease transformed into a bulimic spectrum disorder were more likely to have parents or adults concerned with thinness and to experience high parental expectations.


There were only a few differences in the important childhood factors between the groups, viz. emotional eating, adults concerned with thinness, and parental expectations. The new instrument which we used to measure the childhood factors is a valuable one to assess a broad range of developmental feasures for AN.

Key words   Anorexia nervosa;Childhood factors;Subtypes;Predictors;Eating disorders.
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