B4069 - Autistic traits anxiety and eating behaviours Longitudinal trajectories across child development - 20/05/2022

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Moritz Herle | Kings College London (United Kingdom)
Dr Helena Zavos , Dr Virginia Carter Leno
Title of project: 
Autistic traits, anxiety, and eating behaviours: Longitudinal trajectories across child development
Proposal summary: 

Recent empirical work suggests the prevalence of eating disorders may be raised in autistic individuals, however, questions remain as to whether the co-occurrence of autism and eating disorders could be due to selective samples and/or difficulties disentangling symptoms of autism as compared to symptoms of eating disorders. An alternative explanation is that autism, or high levels of autistic traits, in childhood, may causally increases risk for eating disorders later in development. In addition, autistic children often experience high level of anxiety, and might use overeating or binge eaitng as a coping strategy to sooth and calm themselves down, which might put them on increased risk for later eating disorders. Further research into the pathways and potential mediators of the link between autism, anxiety,and eating disorders is needed to illuminate underpinning mechanisms, which in turn will highlight targets for prevention/intervention.

Impact of research: 
Date proposal received: 
Friday, 20 May, 2022
Date proposal approved: 
Friday, 20 May, 2022
Mental health - Psychology, Psychiatry, Cognition, Eating disorders - anorexia, bulimia, Mental health, Statistical methods, Statistical methods