Narrowing the scope of eating disorder risk factors: sociocultural, familial and individual domains

The most widely accepted approach in trying to understand the etiology eating disorders is the biopsychosocial model which incorporates a wide range of risk factors. The present study attempts to narrow the scope of risk factors by incorporating three risk domains – sociocultural, familial, and individual. Three hypotheses are proposed comparing an eating disordered group to a comparison group across the specified domains, then focusing more specifically on anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Participants completed measures of sociocultural, familial and individual risk factors. A series of t-tests were conducted and found significant differences in perceived maternal and paternal bonding and ineffectiveness between the ED group and comparison group. One significant difference was found between AN and BN: AN scored higher on perceived pressure. Limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.