Reciprocal associations between eating pathology and parent-daughter relationships across adolescence: A monozygotic twin differences study

Laurel M. Korotana, Kristin M. von Ranson, Sylia Wilson, William G. Iacono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This prospective study explored longitudinal, bidirectional associations between eating pathology and perceptions of the parent-child relationship (i.e., parent-child regard and involvement) across adolescence. Specifically, this study examined whether twin differences in mother-daughter and father-daughter relationship problems emerged as a risk factor for, or outcome of, twin differences in eating pathology. By examining twin differences, this study explored associations between variables while controlling for shared environmental and genetic effects. A population-based sample of 446 monozygotic twin girls and their mothers completed questionnaires when twins were approximately 11, 14, and 17 years. Responses were analyzed using longitudinal cross-lagged models. Overall, few strong longitudinal associations were observed. Where longitudinal associations emerged, overall patterns indicated reciprocal associations that shifted across adolescence. Whereas twin differences in parent-daughter relationship variables more often predicted later twin differences in eating pathology across early adolescence, conversely, twin differences in eating pathology more often predicted later twin differences in parent-daughter relationship variables across later adolescence. In particular, the twin who reported greater eating pathology later reported more negative perceptions of the father-daughter relationship, as compared to her co-twin. Findings raise questions for future research regarding parental-in particular, paternal-responses to adolescent eating pathology and suggest the potential importance of efforts to support the parent-daughter relationship within the context of adolescent eating pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number914
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
Issue numberJUN
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Korotana, von Ranson, Wilson and Iacono.

Keywords

  • Disordered eating
  • Eating disorders
  • Family
  • MZ twin differences
  • Monozygotic twins
  • Non-shared environment
  • Parent-child relationship

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