Overview of evidence on the underpinnings of bulimia nervosa

Timothy D. Brewerton, Brian J. Cook, Kelly C. Berg, Stephen A. Wonderlich

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


There is no single etiology or basis for any of the eating disorders, including bulimia nervosa, but similar to other mental disorders, bulimia results from the dynamic interplay between biological, psychological and social factors that operate along a developmental continuum. In this chapter these factors are further subdivided into predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating factors (the "3 P's), which creates nine categories of underpinnings from which to examine the evidence as it relates to bulimia nervosa. Latent vulnerability theory suggests strong genetic predisposing factors linked to anxiety, harm avoidance, obsessive-compulsiveness and drive for thinness, which are exposed, triggered and/or exacerbated by behaviors geared toward weight loss. Among a host of psychosocial factors, traumatic experiences often play important roles in predisposing, precipitating and perpetuating bulimic disorders, especially when there is psychiatric comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEvidence Based Treatments for Eating Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationChildren, Adolescents and Adults: Second Edition
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781631174032
ISBN (Print)9781631174001
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


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