Psychological Factors Predict Eating Disorder Onset and Maintenance at 10-year Follow-up†

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The present study sought to identify psychological factors that predict onset and maintenance of eating disorders. Secondary analyses were conducted using data from an epidemiological study of health and eating behaviours in men and women (N = 1320; 72% female) to examine the prospective and independent influence of the Eating Disorder Inventory Perfectionism, Interpersonal Distrust, and Maturity Fears subscales in predicting the onset and maintenance of eating disorders at 10-year follow-up. Multivariate models indicated higher Perfectionism (p = .025), lower Interpersonal Distrust (p < .001), and higher Maturity Fears (p = .037) predicted increased risk for eating disorder onset at 10-year follow-up, but only Perfectionism (p = .004) predicted eating disorder maintenance. Differential prediction of eating disorder onset versus maintenance highlights potentially different psychological foci for prevention versus treatment efforts. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.

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