Trajectories and Personality Predictors of Eating-Pathology Development in Girls From Preadolescence to Adulthood

Emilie Lacroix, Sylia Wilson, Matt McGue, William G. Iacono, Kristin M. von Ranson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding eating-pathology development may enable meaningful prescriptions for its prevention. Here, we identified common trajectories of eating-pathology development and the personality factors associated with these trajectories. Participants were 760 female twins from the Minnesota Twin Family Study who reported on eating pathology at approximate ages 11, 14, 18, 20, 24, and 29. Parents reported on twins’ personality characteristics at age 11, and twins completed self-report personality questionnaires at ages 14 and 18. Latent class growth analysis identified two distinct trajectories for total eating pathology, binge eating, and weight preoccupation and three distinct trajectories for body dissatisfaction. Girls with more pathological trajectories already showed elevated eating pathology at age 11. These subgroups of high-risk girls self-reported greater proneness to anxiety, stress, and alienation, and less sociable personality styles. Prevention efforts may be enhanced by using self-reported personality traits to identify girls at high risk for eating pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalClinical Psychological Science
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • body dissatisfaction
  • developmental psychopathology
  • eating pathology
  • longitudinal methods
  • personality

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