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Maternal eating disorders and infant temperament: Findings from the norwegian mother and child cohort study

Authors

  • Stephanie Zerwas PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #7160, 101 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7160
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  • Ann Von Holle MS,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • Leila Torgersen PhD,

    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
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  • Ted Reichborn-Kjennerud MD,

    1. Division of Mental Health, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
    2. Department of Psychiatry, University of Oslo, Norway
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  • Camilla Stoltenberg MD,

    1. Division of Epidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
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  • Cynthia M. Bulik PhD

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
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  • Supported by R01HD047186-04 from National Institutes of Health, by N01-ES-85433 from Norwegian Ministry of Health and NIH/NIEHS (the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study), by UO1 NS 047537-01 and 151918/S10 from NIH/NINDS, and by K12-HD01441, the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health Award from NIH (S.Z.)

Abstract

Objective:

We hypothesized that women with eating disorders would be more likely to rate their infants' temperament higher on negative emotionality than women without eating disorders.

Method:

Of 3,013 mothers with eating disorders, 44 reported anorexia nervosa (AN), 436 bulimia nervosa (BN), 2,475 binge eating disorder (BED), and 58 EDNOS purging type (EDNOS-P). The referent group comprised 45,964 mothers with no eating disorder. A partial proportional odds model was used to estimate the relation among maternal eating disorder presentations and infant temperament ratings while adjusting for covariates.

Results:

Women with AN, BN, EDNOS-P, and BED were 2.3, 1.4, 2.8, and 1.4 times more likely to report extreme fussiness than the referent group of women with no eating disorder, respectively.

Discussion:

Mothers with eating disorders may rate their infants as more difficult because of information-processing biases or because their infants are emotionally difficult. Maternal perception of infant temperament may be a risk factor for children's emotional development. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)

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