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date: 05 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an updated overview of risk factors for eating disorders, on the basis of the risk factor taxonomy described by (Kraemer et al., 1997). It summarizes risk factors identified in longitudinal studies and markers and retrospective correlates from cross-sectional studies through April 2002 for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder, identifies new studies published between May 2002 and June 2015, and integrates them into the earlier review. The updated review confirms that longitudinal evidence on risk factors is strongest for nonspecific eating disorder diagnoses including subclinical forms and weakest for participants with diagnoses of anorexia nervosa. When strict criteria for caseness are applied, the majority of risk factors were not able to predict distinct diagnoses and only very few risk factors were confirmed in more than one sample. Case prediction, specificity, and replication therefore remain the biggest challenges in risk factor research for eating disorders.

Keywords: anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, Kraemer taxonomy, longitudinal study, risk factor

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