Age differences in genetic and environmental influences on weight and shape concerns
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2009
Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 43, Issue 8, pages 679–688, December 2010
How to Cite
Klump, K. L., Burt, S. A., Spanos, A., McGue, M., Iacono, W. G. and Wade, T. D. (2010), Age differences in genetic and environmental influences on weight and shape concerns. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 43: 679–688. doi: 10.1002/eat.20772
- Issue published online: 10 NOV 2010
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 SEP 2009
- National Institute of Mental Health. Grant Number: MH 070542
- Michigan State University. Grant Numbers: 04-232, 71-4831
- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Grant Numbers: DA 05147, DA 13240
- National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Grant Number: AA 09367
- National Health and Medical Research Council. Grant Numbers: 160009, 310667
- weight concerns;
- shape concerns;
- genetic influences;
- age differences;
- eating disorders examination questionnaire
Previous research has shown important developmental shifts ingenetic and environmental influences for disordered eating. However, little research has examined age differences for weight/shape concerns, two key components of eating disorders. The goal of this study was to investigate these age differences in preadolescent, adolescent, young adult, and mid-adult twins.
Participants included 2,618 female twins (ages of 10–41 years) from three large twin registries. Shape and weight concerns were assessed with the Eating Disorders Examination Questionnaire.
Genetic influences were modest in preadolescent twins, but significant from early-adolescence through middle adulthood. Shared environmental factors showed the opposite pattern, with the largest shared environmental contributions occurring in the youngest age group. Nonshared environmental effects remained relatively constant across age.
Findings highlight the importance of age differences in genetic and environmental influences. Possible mechanisms include gene x environment interactions and biological changes associated with key developmental stages. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2010; 43:679–688