Disordered Eating and Substance Use in an Epidemiological Sample: II. Associations Within Families


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Abstract

This study investigated familial associations of disordered eating (DE) with substance use and substance use disorders (SU/SUDs) in a community-based sample of 620 adolescent girls, their 310 mothers, and 299 fathers. Female participants completed structured interviews of lifetime anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and SU/SUD; daughters also completed a self-report measure of current DE attitudes and behaviors. Fathers completed interviews assessing lifetime SUD. Evaluation of independent and combined associations of mothers' bulimic eating disturbance (ED) and parents' SUDs with daughters' DE/EDs and SU/SUDs revealed links between mothers' ED and daughters' DE but no relationship between EDs and SU/SUDs across generations. These results suggest that these problems are not cross-transmitted within families and suggest that the addiction model of eating disorders may be simplistic.

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