Presented at the International Conference on Eating Disorders, Miami, Florida, April 27-30, 2011.
Regular Article (CE Activity)
Genetic and environmental influences on thin-ideal internalization†
Article first published online: 3 OCT 2012
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 45, Issue 8, pages 942–948, December 2012
How to Cite
Suisman, J. L., O'Connor, S. M., Sperry, S., Thompson, J. K., Keel, P. K., Burt, S. A., Neale, M., Boker, S., Sisk, C. and Klump, K. L. (2012), Genetic and environmental influences on thin-ideal internalization. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 45: 942–948. doi: 10.1002/eat.22056
- Issue published online: 16 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 3 OCT 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 AUG 2012
- National Institute of Mental Health. Grant Numbers: 1-R01 MH0820-54, 5-R01 MH092377-02
- body image;
- disordered eating;
- twin study;
- Tripartite Model
Current research on the etiology of thin-ideal internalization focuses on psychosocial influences (e.g., media exposure). The possibility that genetic influences also account for variance in thin-ideal internalization has never been directly examined. This study used a twin design to estimate genetic effects on thin-ideal internalization and examine if environmental influences are primarily shared or nonshared in origin.
Participants were 343 postpubertal female twins (ages: 12–22 years; M = 17.61) from the Michigan State University Twin Registry. Thin-ideal internalization was assessed using the Sociocultural Attitudes toward Appearance Questionnaire-3.
Twin modeling suggested significant additive genetic and nonshared environmental influences on thin-ideal internalization. Shared environmental influences were small and non-significant.
Although prior research focused on psychosocial factors, genetic influences on thin-ideal internalization were significant and moderate in magnitude. Research is needed to investigate possible interplay between genetic and nonshared environmental factors in the development of thin-ideal internalization. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012)