Describe symptoms and prevalence of one disorder from two of the following groups: anxiety disorders, affective disorders, eating disorders.

Anorexia – Symptoms
Behavioural symptoms: Will not maintain normal weight for their age and height, 85 % of an appropriate weight
Emotional symptoms: Extremely fearful of gaining weight or being fat, even the person is already underweight
Cognitive symptoms: Has a distorted view of body shape and weight
Somatic symptoms: A female that misses three menstrual cycles in a row

Depression – Symptoms
  • § Affective: Feelings of guilt and sadness, lack of enjoyment or pleasure in familiar activities or company
  • § Behavioural: Passivity, lack of initiative
  • § Cognitive: Frequent negative thoughts, faulty attribution of blame, low self esteem, suicidal thoughts, irrational hopelessness, difficulties in concentration and inability to make decisions
  • § Somatic: Loss of energy, insomnia, or hypersomnia, weight loss/gain, diminished sex drive
  • § One or two major depressive depressive episodes
  • § At least two weeks of depressed mood or loss of interest accompanied with at least four additional symptoms of depression
Prevalence of anorexia nervosa and major depression
-approximately 95% of those affected by anorexia are female
-Lifetime prevalence of Anorexia nervosa in females is 0.5%
-10 times more likely in females than in males
-Onset age is usually between ages 14-18
-caucasians are more affected than people of other background
- More common in western societies, middle and upper socioeconomic groups but is increasing in eastern societies because of globalization
-models, dancers, and actors/actress are careers that have higher risk of anorexia nervosa

Major depression:

Biological Factor: Genes and neurotransmission

Caspi et al. (2003)
Aim: To investigate the relationship between the 5-HTT gene (The serotonine transporter gene) and depression
Participants: 847 Caucasian New Zeelanders
Method: interview, correlation method
Dependent variable: Self report on depression
Controls: Checked that participants were honest in self report by cross checking with friend, same levels of stressful life events
Findings: Having a short allele of the 5-HTT gene correlated with increased vulnerability for depression between ages of 21 to 26
Evaluation: Use of controls
Findings has been confirmed with animal and brain research (greater neuron activity in the amygdala in response to fearful stimuli if short allele)
Short alleles are more common in Japanese sample

Social and cultural Factors: Relationships, number of children

EA Campbell, SJ Cope and JD Teasdale (Brown and Harris's model)
Aim: investigate rather the vulnerability factors are risk factors for depression
Participants: 110 of working class women and children in Oxford
Experiment, correlation study/ survey: Using the same methodology as Brown and Harris, the role of provoking agents in the onset of affective disorder was found to be very similar to that which they originally described. Lack of an intimate relationship with a husband or boyfriend was found to act as a vulnerability factor, increasing the risk of psychiatric disorder in the face of a provoking agent.
Findings: There was a trend for women with three or more children aged 14 or under to have an increased vulnerability. However, unemployment was not found to be a vulnerability factor. These results provide general support for Brown and Harris's causal model.

Southgate (2008)
Aim: Investigate preferential information processing style in eating disorder (ED)
Participants: sixty nonmedicated female participants 26 with health diet, 20 with anorexia, and 14 with bulimia
Experiment: We compared the performance of participants with EDs against healthy controls in a task that measures cognitive style (reflection–impulsivity) and cognitive efficiency (inefficient–efficient).Sixty non-medicated female participants (healthy controls n=26, anorexia nervosa n=20, bulimia nervosa n=14) took part in the Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFFT), a difficult visual search paradigm with high response uncertainty. Participants with anorexia scored significantly higher on the efficiency dimension score than the control group. No significant differences were found across groups on the dimension ‘reflection–impulsivity’.
Finding: Participants with anorexia are more efficient (quicker response latencies in conjunction with fewer errors) in this visual search task that requires an analytic approach. This supports the hypothesis that individuals with anorexia have a positive bias toward local detail processing, indicative of weak central coherence.
Evaluation: Lack ecological validity because the investigation was conducted in a controlled lab and lacks generalizability because the experiment focus on only female patients with anorexia the result cannot be apply to males patient

Mazzeo & Bulik (2009)
Aim: The authors’ goal was to explore the relation between perfectionism and psychopathology, including eating disorders.
correlation method/survey: Using logistic regression, the authors calculated odds ratios for the associations between perfectionism subscale scores and psychiatric disorders in 1,010 female twins who completed the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale and participated in diagnostic interviews.
Finding: Elevated concern over mistakes was associated with anorexia and bulimia nervosa but not with other psychiatric disorders. Doubts about actions was associated with eating and anxiety disorders. Multivariable models confirmed that higher scores on the subscales for concern over mistakes and doubts about actions were most strongly associated with eating disorders.
conclusion: The aspect of perfectionism captured by scores on a subscale measuring concern over mistakes may be particularly associated with eating disorders and not generically predictive of psychopathology.