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Keywords:

  • risk factors;
  • learning;
  • expectancies;
  • family-of-origin

Abstract

Objective:

The study reported here integrates research on family-of-origin learning experiences and adult eating/thinness expectancies in the study of risk for eating disordered behavior.

Method:

A sample of women manifesting a wide range of eating disordered behaviors (n = 66) were compared in their retrospective reports of family learning, current eating and dieting expectancies, and current eating disordered behaviors.

Results:

History of food-related teasing from friends and family, negative maternal modeling, and friends' criticism of eating all related to both adult disordered behavior and adult eating and thinness expectancies. Tests of mediation supported the putative mediation by expectancies of the relationships between early experiences and adult disordered behavior.

Conclusion:

Family-of-origin learning experiences may influence adult eating disordered behavior by contributing to the formation of expectancies for reinforcement from eating and from thinness. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006