Eating disorder symptoms in adult women – Stability and predictors of change
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- Institutt for psykologi 
Eating disorders constitute a severe mental health problem, and different predictors have been hypothesized to affect the course eating disorder symptoms. Research has found high comorbidity in relation to eating disorders, such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders, but there are considerable gaps in the current research on how such symptoms affect the course of eating disorders. In addition stressful life events is found in association with symptoms of eating disorders, but it is not known if these predict an increase in such symptoms in adult women. By examining a large sample of women, the present study investigate the stability of eating disorder symptoms and the possible effect of BMI, depression, anxiety, alcohol consumption, symptoms personality disorders and stressful life events on the course of eating disorder symptomatology over a two year time-span. The results showed symptoms of eating disorder to remain stable from baseline to two years. BMI, depression, anxiety and alcohol consumption was cross-sectional related to symptoms of eating disorders. Further, growth modelling showed BMI, cluster C personality disorder symptoms and stressful life events to cause a significant increase in symptoms of eating disorders over two years. Depression, anxiety, alcohol consumption and cluster A and B personality disorder symptoms did not affect the growth of eating disorder symptoms. The findings have several clinical implications, showing that caution are to be made by clinicians on investigating comorbidity in women with eating disorder symptoms, and further acknowledge the possible effect of cluster C personality disorder symptoms and negative life events on the course of such symptoms.