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Int J Eat Disord. 2012 Dec;45(8):942-8. doi: 10.1002/eat.22056. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Genetic and environmental influences on thin-ideal internalization.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Current research on the etiology of thin-ideal internalization focuses on psychosocial influences (e.g., media exposure). The possibility that genetic influences also account for variance in thin-ideal internalization has never been directly examined. This study used a twin design to estimate genetic effects on thin-ideal internalization and examine if environmental influences are primarily shared or nonshared in origin.

METHOD:

Participants were 343 postpubertal female twins (ages: 12-22 years; M = 17.61) from the Michigan State University Twin Registry. Thin-ideal internalization was assessed using the Sociocultural Attitudes toward Appearance Questionnaire-3.

RESULTS:

Twin modeling suggested significant additive genetic and nonshared environmental influences on thin-ideal internalization. Shared environmental influences were small and non-significant.

DISCUSSION:

Although prior research focused on psychosocial factors, genetic influences on thin-ideal internalization were significant and moderate in magnitude. Research is needed to investigate possible interplay between genetic and nonshared environmental factors in the development of thin-ideal internalization.

PMID:
23034902
PMCID:
PMC3523121
DOI:
10.1002/eat.22056
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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