Altered social hedonic processing in eating disorders

Kate Tchanturia, Helen Davies, Amy Harrison, John R E Fox, Janet Treasure, Ulrike Schmidt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Objective: Exploring social anhedonia in eating disorders (ED) was the main objective of this study. Social anhedonia relates to a reduced feeling of pleasure from social stimulation. Researching the exact nature of problems in interpersonal relationships is an important topic for clinicians and researchers in the field. Method: The revised social anhedonia scale was completed by 148 participants: anorexia nervosa (AN) n = 72; bulimia nervosa (BN) n = 19; recovered AN n = 14; healthy controls (HC) n = 43. Participants also completed mood related measures and the Toronto Alexythimia scale. Results: People with AN and BN had higher self-reported social anhedonia than people without ED. Recovered AN had an intermediate profile in between AN and HC. Clinical severity and alexithymia were strongly associated with social anhedonia scores. Discussion: Difficulty identifying and expressing feelings could be related to this diminished drive for social pleasure. Tackling these interpersonal maintaining factors in treatment is likely to be a worthwhile endeavor. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2012) Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)962-969
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


    • anorexia
    • bulimia
    • recovered
    • social anhedonia


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