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



Twin studies of eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating) 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. Twin studies demonstrate that genetic factors significantly influence the risk for ED and substantially contribute to the observed association between ED and other disorders and personal traits (major depression, anxiety disorders, substance use disorders, perfectionism). Among environmental factors nonshared (unique) environment plays the main role, except of early puberty.

General Information

Keywords: eating disorders, anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, twins, twin studies, twin method, heredity and environment, review

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Meshkova T.A. Heredity and Environment in Etiology of Eating Disorders. I. Review of Twin Studies [Elektronnyi resurs]. Klinicheskaia i spetsial'naia psikhologiia = Clinical Psychology and Special Education, 2015. Vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 1–24. (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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