Temperament and psychopathology in early childhood predict body dissatisfaction and eating disorder symptoms in adolescence.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Clinical report
Length: 467 words

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Keywords Risk factors; Mental disorders; Personality; Eating disorders; Body image disturbances; Longitudinal studies Highlights * We examined early childhood predictors of body dissatisfaction and ED symptoms. * Child temperament and psychopathology predict body dissatisfaction and AN symptoms. * Child NE, shyness, anxiety, and ODD predict body dissatisfaction. * Child perceptual sensitivity, depression and ODD predict AN symptoms. * Female sex and less paternal education predict body dissatisfaction and AN symptoms. Abstract Eating disorders (ED) are highly impairing and dangerous conditions that typically onset in adolescence. However, very few prospective studies have examined early childhood risk factors for ED pathology. Given well-established links between temperament and psychopathology, examination of these factors could inform prevention efforts. The current multi-method, multi-informant prospective longitudinal study tested whether laboratory-observed and parent-reported temperament and psychiatric disorders at ages 3 and 6 (N = 609) predict body dissatisfaction at ages 12 and 15 and dimensional symptoms of EDs (anorexia nervosa [AN] and bulimia nervosa [BN]) at age 15 (n = 458) in a community sample. Results indicated that early childhood temperament (positive and negative emotionality, perceptual sensitivity, impulsivity, less shyness) and childhood psychopathology (anxiety, oppositional defiant, attention deficit/hyperactivity, and depressive disorders), predicted body dissatisfaction in adolescence. In addition, childhood perceptual sensitivity and oppositional defiant and depressive disorders predicted AN symptoms. Demographic characteristics (female sex, lower levels of fathers' education, and parental marital status) in childhood predicted body dissatisfaction and AN symptoms. No temperament or psychopathology variables predicted BN symptoms. This study is an important first step toward continuing to identify areas of focus for future research on early childhood risk factors for ED symptoms and body dissatisfaction. Author Affiliation: (a) Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA (b) Department of Psychology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, USA (c) Department of Psychology, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD, USA (d) Autism Center, Child Mind Institute, New York, NY, USA (e) Department of Psychiatry, Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA (f) Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA * Corresponding author. Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, 317 Life Sciences Building, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, 40292, USA. Article History: Received 8 March 2021; Revised 10 December 2021; Accepted 14 January 2022 (footnote)[white star] This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health grants R01 MH069942 (Klein), R15 MH106885 (Bufferd), and F31 MH084444 (Bufferd). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute of Mental Health or the National Institutes of Health. Byline: Sara J. Bufferd [Sara.Bufferd@louisville.edu] (a,*), Cheri A. Levinson [cheri.levinson@louisville.edu] (a), Thomas M. Olino [thomas.olino@temple.edu] (b), Lea R. Dougherty [ldougher@umd.edu] (c), Margaret W. Dyson [margaret.dyson@childmind.org] (d), Gabrielle A. Carlson [gabrielle.carlson@stonybrookmedicine.edu] (e), Daniel N. Klein [daniel.klein@stonybrook.edu] (f)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A696275036