CitationRossman, S. M. & Eddy, K. T. (2020). Behavioral symptoms of eating disorders among adopted adolescents and young adults in the United States: Findings from the Add Health survey. International Journal of Eating Disorders.
AbstractOBJECTIVE: More adopted individuals report experiencing general psychopathology, poor parental attachment, and early childhood eating difficulties than nonadopted individuals, yet little is known about disordered eating in this population. This study sought to describe the relationship between adoption status and behavioral eating-disorder (ED) symptoms, and to examine potential correlates of ED symptoms that are unique to adopted individuals. METHOD: We examined data from adolescents and young adults from Waves 1 (n adopted = 561, nonadopted = 20,184), 2 (n adopted = 211, nonadopted = 14,525), and 3 (n adopted = 416, nonadopted = 14,754) of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. ED symptom items included dieting, breakfast skipping, binge eating, extreme weight loss behaviors (EWLBs; i.e., self-induced vomiting, laxative use, diet pill use) and lifetime ED diagnosis. RESULTS: Compared to nonadopted individuals, adopted individuals were more likely to report EWLBs at Wave 2 and binge eating and lifetime ED diagnosis at Wave 3 (ps < .05). Among adopted individuals, contact with a biological parent was associated with higher rates of binge eating and lifetime ED diagnosis at Wave 3 (ps < .05), whereas age at adoption and having ever been in foster care were not associated with rates of ED symptoms. DISCUSSION: This study provides preliminary evidence that being adopted may be a risk factor for certain behavioral symptoms of EDs. Given the benefits of early detection and treatment of ED symptoms, mental health professionals working with adopted individuals should assess for disordered eating.
Notes1098-108x Rossman, Setareh M Eddy, Kamryn T
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Author(s)Rossman, S. M.
Eddy, K. T.