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Trajectories of autistic social traits in childhood and adolescence and disordered eating behaviours at age 14 years. A UK general population cohort study

Solmi, F; Bentivegna, F; Bould, H; Mandy, W; Kothari, R; Rai, D; Skuse, D; (2020) Trajectories of autistic social traits in childhood and adolescence and disordered eating behaviours at age 14 years. A UK general population cohort study. The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10.1111/jcpp.13255. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Some people with eating disorders have difficulties with social communication. However, no longitudinal evidence regarding the direction of this association exists. We investigated trajectories of autistic social traits across childhood and adolescence in adolescents with and without disordered eating behaviours in early adolescence. Methods: We used data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Our disordered eating measure indicated presence of any, monthly and weekly disordered eating (fasting, purging, dieting, binge eating) at age 14 years. Autistic social traits were reported by mothers using the Social and Communication Disorders Checklist (SCDC) at age seven, 11, 14 and 16 years. We modelled SCDC score trajectories using multilevel negative binomial models adjusting for a number of child- and maternal-level confounders. Results: Of the 5,381 adolescents included in our sample, 421 (7.8%) experienced one or more disordered eating behaviours, and 148 (2.8%) weekly episodes. Adolescents with disordered eating had a 20% increase in SCDC scores (relative risk (RR) 1.23, 95% confidence interval (CI):1.14, 1.32) compared to those without disordered eating. This association was particularly apparent for those reporting weekly (RR 1.43, 95%CI: 1.27, 1.61) as opposed to monthly disordered eating (RR 1.12, 95%CI: 1.01, 1.22). Conclusions: Greater autistic social traits in childhood could represent a risk factor for the development of disordered eating in adolescence. Although mechanisms of this association need to be elucidated, clinicians should be aware that autistic social traits could have predated the eating disorder when managing people with these conditions. Keywords: eating disorders; autistic traits; cohort study; trajectories; ALSPAC.

Type: Article
Title: Trajectories of autistic social traits in childhood and adolescence and disordered eating behaviours at age 14 years. A UK general population cohort study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.13255
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13255
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child andAdolescent Mental Health.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in anymedium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: eating disorders, autistic traits, cohort study, trajectories, ALSPAC
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Population, Policy and Practice Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095000
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