Genetic Explanation For Anorexia

4 AO1s and 8 AO2s. A* essay (for a 12 mark question). Set out in table for easy memorising.

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  • Created by: Andrew F.
  • Created on: 21-06-12 18:17
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Genetic Explanations For Anorexia ­ Andrew F
AO1's AO2's
1 Anorexia nervosa, defined by the DSM is 1 Anorexia is difficult to define as some of the
characterised by five major signs anxiety symptoms can be hard to detect and
over body shape, an irrational fear of anorexics employ a great deal of secrecy to
weight gain, a body weight of below 85% control their eating behaviour.
the ideal body BMI, body dysmorphia and
2 Concordance studies have shown that 2 One of the largest concordance studies
anorexia has a genetic basis. which supports the theory that anorexia has
a genetic basis was done by Holland. He
interviewed 25 monozygotic and 20
dizygotic female twins where at least one
twin had anorexia about eating behaviour.
He found a 56% concordance for MZ twins
and a 5% concordance for DZ twins.
3 However, if anorexia was purely inherited,
the concordance rates should be 100% for
MZ twins and 50% for DZ twins. This
suggests other factors are involved.
4 This study is gender biased because the
sample does not include men in its
5 Also, the sample size is small, which may
lead to biased results as a result of
individual difference.
6 Also, the method of research was interviews,
which suffer from social desirability and
demand characteristics, which may bias the
3 Other genetic research has found that 7 However, this research is limited because it
degree of relatedness correlates with the cannot provide a causal link between the
inheritance of eating disorders such as factors as other variables were not
anorexia. controlled.
4 Further to this, it is possible that individuals 8 This suggests that the genetic approach is
actually inherit anxious tendencies and reductionist as the development of anorexia
then this is expressed through disordered is more complex than simply inheriting
eating. genes. Also, it ignores learned behaviours
associated with anorexia.


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