Heredity and Environment in Etiology of Eating Disorders. I. Review of Family Studies



Family studies of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating) of first degree relatives are reviewed. Historically, eating disorders (ED) was viewed as a disorders primarily influenced by sociocultural factors, however, over the past decade, this perception has been challenged. Family and twin studies have demonstrated that eating disorders run in families and have genetic component. First degree relatives of the patients with ED demonstrate higher rate of ED and comorbid psychopathology, than relatives of healthy people. Family environment risk factors possibly are nonspecific and accompany not only ED but also other psychopathology. It is supposed that there is a hereditary predisposition which passes into a pathological phenotype at a certain combination of context circumstances.

General Information

Keywords: eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, family studies, heredity and environment, review

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: review article

For citation: Meshkova T.A. Heredity and Environment in Etiology of Eating Disorders. I. Review of Family Studies [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2015. Vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 1–14. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Tatiana A. Meshkova, PhD in Psychology, Head of the Department of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Leading researcher of the Laboratory of Age-related Psychogenetics of PI RAE, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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