A systematic review and meta-analysis of ‘systems for social processes’ in eating disorders.

Caglar-Nazali, H. P., Corfield, F., Cardi, V., Ambwani, S., Leppanen, J., Olabintan, O., . . . Treasure, J. (2014).

Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 42, 55-92.


Social and emotional problems have been implicated in the development and maintenance of eating disorders (ED). This paper reviews the facets of social processing in ED according to the NIMH Research and Domain Criteria (NIMH RDoC) ‘Systems for Social Processes’ framework. Embase, Medline, PsycInfo and Web of Science were searched for peer-reviewed articles published by March 2013. One-hundred and fifty four studies measuring constructs of: attachment, social communication, perception and understanding of self and others, and social dominance in people with ED, were identified. Eleven meta-analyses were performed, they showed evidence that people with ED had attachment insecurity (d = 1.31), perceived low parental care (d = .51), appraised high parental overprotection (d = 0.29), impaired facial emotion recognition (d = .44) and facial communication (d = 2.10), increased facial avoidance (d = .52), reduced agency (d = .39), negative self-evaluation (d = 2.27), alexithymia (d = .66), poor understanding of mental states (d = 1.07) and sensitivity to social dominance (d = 1.08). There is less evidence for problems with production and reception of non-facial communication, animacy and action.

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