Cognitive and Interpersonal Factors in Adolescent Inpatients with Anorexia Nervosa: A Network Analysis

Chantal P. Delaquis, Nathalie T. Godart, Melina Fatséas, Sylvie Berthoz
Children. 2023-04-15; 10(4): 730
DOI: 10.3390/children10040730

The cognitive-interpersonal model of anorexia nervosa (AN) posits that cognitive and interpersonal traits contribute to the development and maintenance of AN. We investigated cognitive and interpersonal factors put forward by the model in a sample of 145 adolescent inpatients with AN using network analysis. Our main outcomes included core eating disorder symptoms, cognitive style, socio-affective factors, and mood symptoms. We estimated a cross-sectional network using graphical LASSO. Core and bridge symptoms were identified using strength centrality. Goldbricker was used to reduce topological overlap. The node with the highest strength centrality was Concern over Mistakes, followed by Eating Preoccupation, Social Fear, and Overvaluation of Weight and Shape. The nodes with the highest bridge strength were Concern over Mistakes, Doubt about Actions, Overvaluation of Weight and Shape, and Depression. Notably, both performance on a cognitive flexibility task and BMI were not connected to any other nodes and were subsequently removed from the final network. We provide partial support for the cognitive-interpersonal model while also supporting certain premises put forward by the transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral model. The high centrality of Concern over Mistakes and Social Fear supports the theory that both cognitive and interpersonal difficulties contribute to AN, particularly in adolescence.

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