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A Twin Study of Genetic and Environmental Influences on Psychological Traits of Eating Disorders in a Japanese Female Sample

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Toshimitsu Kamakura*
Graduate School of Human Relations, Keio University,Tokyo, Japan.
Juko Ando
Faculty of Letters, Keio University,Tokyo, Japan.
Yutaka Ono
Health Center, Keio University, Kanagawa, Japan.
Hiroko Maekawa
Graduate School of Human Relations, Keio University,Tokyo, Japan.
*Address for correspondence: Toshimitsu Kamakura, Graduate School of Human Relations, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, 5-18-9 Tamagawa, Chofu, Tokyo 182-0025 Japan.


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The purpose of the present study was to clarify genetic and environmental origins of psychological traits of eating disorders using a Japanese female twin sample. Participants were 162 pairs of female twins consisting of 116 pairs of monozygotic (MZ) twins and 46 pairs of dizygotic (DZ) twins in their adolescence. Psychological traits of eating disorders were assessed with five subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI). As a result of using univariate twin analyses, among five subscales of EDI (maturity fears, ineffectiveness, interpersonal distrust, interoceptive awareness, and perfectionism), perfectionism showed significant additive genetic contributions and individual specific environmental effects. On the other hand, maturity fears, ineffectiveness, interoceptive awareness, and interpersonal distrust indicated significant shared environment contributions and individual specific environment effects. The results suggest the importance of both genetic and shared environmental influences on psychological traits of eating disorders in the present study.

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