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"For Me, the Anorexia is Just a Symptom, and the Cause is the Autism": Investigating Restrictive Eating Disorders in Autistic Women

Brede, J; Babb, C; Jones, C; Elliott, M; Zanker, C; Tchanturia, K; Serpell, L; ... Mandy, W; + view all (2020) "For Me, the Anorexia is Just a Symptom, and the Cause is the Autism": Investigating Restrictive Eating Disorders in Autistic Women. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10.1007/s10803-020-04479-3. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Autistic women are overrepresented among people in treatment for Anorexia Nervosa (AN). The current study aimed to: (1) better understand how AN develops and persists in autistic individuals from the perspective of autistic women, parents and healthcare professionals; (2) derive a theoretical model of restrictive eating difficulties in autism. We conducted 44 semi-structured interviews and used Thematic Analysis to identify patterns of meaning across the data. Themes related to sensory sensitivities, social interaction and relationships, sense of self and identity, difficulties with emotions, thinking styles, and a need for control and predictability. We developed a model of potential autism-specific mechanisms underlying restrictive eating difficulties. This study generated novel insights, which have the potential to inform treatment adaptations following empirical testing.

Type: Article
Title: "For Me, the Anorexia is Just a Symptom, and the Cause is the Autism": Investigating Restrictive Eating Disorders in Autistic Women
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-020-04479-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-020-04479-3
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Anorexia nervosa, Autism, Co-occurrence, Eating disorders, Females, Qualitative research
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095631
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