Life beyond the eating disorder: Education, relationships, and reproduction


  • Supported by T32MH076694 (to Drs. Millie Maxwell and Tammy L. Root) and MH-66117 from the National Institute of Health, Bethesda, MD, and in part by the Franklin Mint Endowed Chair in Eating Disorders (to Dr. Michael Strober).



We investigated the sociodemographic characteristics in women with and without lifetime eating disorders.


Participants were from a multisite international study of eating disorders (N = 2,096). Education level, relationship status, and reproductive status were examined across eating disorder subtypes and compared with a healthy control group.


Overall, women with eating disorders were less educated than controls, and duration of illness and age of onset were associated with educational attainment. Menstrual status was associated with both relationship and reproductive status, but eating disorder subtypes did not differ significantly from each other or from healthy controls on these dimensions.


Differences in educational attainment, relationships, and reproduction do exist in individuals with eating disorders and are differentially associated with various eating disorder symptoms and characteristics. These data could assist in educating patients and family members about long-term consequences of eating disorders. © 2010 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2011; 44:225–232)