This study examined whether self-reported and observationally measured parental behaviours were associated with disordered eating, and investigated possible moderation by a serotonin-transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR). Study 1 included 650 adolescents from the Australian Temperament Project who completed the Eating Disorder Inventory-2 Drive for Thinness and Bulimia scales at 15/16 years and were genotyped for 5-HTTLPR. Parents completed an Australian Temperament Project-devised measure of parental warmth and harsh punishment. Study 2 included a subgroup of 304 participants who also engaged in a video-recorded family interaction, with observed parental warmth and hostility coded by the Iowa Family Interaction Rating Scale. Greater self-reported parental warmth was associated with lower bulimia scores. Conversely, observationally measured parental warmth was associated with lower drive for thinness, but not bulimia. Self-reported parental harsh punishment was associated with bulimia only, with observed parental hostility associated with neither outcome. 5-HTTLPR genotype did not moderate the relationship between parent behaviours and adolescent disordered eating.
- disordered eating
- gene environment interactions
- observational measurement
- parenting behaviours