Hunna J Watson

Hunna J Watson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC · School of Medicine

PhD, MBiostat, MPsych(Clinical)

About

122
Publications
39,538
Reads
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4,907
Citations
Citations since 2016
62 Research Items
4273 Citations
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201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
201620172018201920202021202202004006008001,000
Additional affiliations
January 2014 - present
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (122)
Article
Objective: To compare individuals who have experienced binge-eating disorder (BED) and anorexia nervosa (AN) (BED AN+) to those who have experienced BED and not AN (BED AN-). Method: Participants (N = 898) met criteria for lifetime BED and reported current binge eating. Approximately 14% had a lifetime diagnosis of AN. Analyses compared BED AN+...
Article
Perfectionism has a strong association with eating disorders. Research in non-clinical adults has suggested that perfectionism has both direct and indirect effects on eating disorder symptoms, and that compulsive exercise is a potential mediator. The aim of this study was to understand whether perfectionism is associated with eating disorder sympto...
Article
Background and objectives Guided and unguided self-help prevention and treatment interventions for eating disorders delivered via traditional book format or internet delivery have been widely researched, but no reviews have focused specifically on young people. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to examine the efficacy of rando...
Article
Objective This study examined perfectionism and self-concept constructs across eating disorder recovery stages in men, using a conceptualization of recovery that encompasses physical, behavioral, and cognitive recovery. Method Participants were 35 men with an eating disorder history (Mage = 26.60, SD = 10.81), categorized as in full recovery, in p...
Article
Full-text available
Background Living in a food-insecure or food insufficient household may increase risk for binge eating and obesity. Because racial disparities in food access, obesity, and access to treatment for disordered eating exist, it is important to examine these relationships in Black populations. Methods We conducted a secondary analysis of data from the...
Article
Full-text available
Background Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide, and non-fatal suicide attempts, which occur far more frequently, are a major source of disability and social and economic burden. Both have substantial genetic etiology, which is partially shared and partially distinct from that of related psychiatric disorders. Methods We conducted a genom...
Article
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Background Genetics and biology may influence the age at onset of anorexia nervosa (AN). The aims of this study were to determine whether common genetic variation contributes to AN age at onset and to investigate the genetic associations between age at onset of AN and age at menarche. Methods A secondary analysis of the Psychiatric Genomics Consor...
Article
Perfectionism is a transdiagnostic process across anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the efficacy of self-help and face to face CBT for perfectionism in reducing perfectionism and anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. A total of 15 randomised controlled trials of CBT for perfectionism we...
Article
Binge eating and purging profiles may vary in adolescents with eating disorders and this may potentially be a function of a range of cognitive and behavioural constructs. The aim was to determine whether cognitive and behavioural symptoms differed among purging profiles in 229 adolescent females (M age = 15.45). Differences were examined in three b...
Article
Full-text available
Latinos/as are underrepresented in eating disorders clinical trials. This study compared results of a culturally adapted individual cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for binge-spectrum eating disorders that included or excluded a family enhanced module (CBT + FE), in a proof-of-principle pilot study with a sample of Latina adults and one family...
Preprint
Anorexia nervosa (AN) polygenic liability has been associated with mental health traits, eating problems, and body mass index (BMI) in adolescence and adulthood, but little is known about its manifestations in early childhood. We explore AN polygenic score (PGS) associations with six childhood domains: BMI, eating problems, neurodevelopment, emotio...
Article
Full-text available
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a severe psychiatric condition associated with high mortality and chronicity. The hunt for state, trait, subtyping, and prognostic biomarkers is ongoing and the orexigenic hormone ghrelin and its different forms, acyl ghrelin and desacyl ghrelin, have been proposed to be increased in AN, especially in the restrictive subtyp...
Article
Enabled by advances in high throughput genomic sequencing and an unprecedented level of global data sharing, molecular genetic research is beginning to unlock the biological basis of eating disorders. This invited review provides an overview of genetic discoveries in eating disorders in the genome-wide era. To date, five genome-wide association stu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Suicide is a leading cause of death worldwide and non-fatal suicide attempts, which occur far more frequently, are a major source of disability and social and economic burden. Both are known to have a substantial genetic etiology, which is partially shared and partially distinct from that of related psychiatric disorders. We conducted a genome-wide...
Article
Full-text available
Objective We evaluated the early impact of COVID‐19 on people with self‐reported eating disorders. Method Participants in the United States (US, N = 511) and the Netherlands (NL, N = 510), recruited through ongoing studies and social media, completed an online survey that included both quantitative measures and free‐text responses assessing the im...
Preprint
Full-text available
We received rapid ethical permission to evaluate the early impact of COVID-19 on people with eating disorders. Participants in the United States (US, N=511) and the Netherlands (NL, N=510), recruited through ongoing studies and social media, completed an online baseline survey that included both quantitative measures and free-text responses assessi...
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Full-text available
Genome-wide association studies have discovered hundreds of loci associated with complex brain disorders, but it remains unclear in which cell types these loci are active. Here we integrate genome-wide association study results with single-cell transcriptomic data from the entire mouse nervous system to systematically identify cell types underlying...
Article
Full-text available
Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co‐occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [rg], twin‐based = 0.23‐0.53). We estimated the genetic correlation...
Article
Background: Perfectionism is a transdiagnostic risk factor across psychopathology. The Clinical Perfectionism Questionnaire (CPQ) was developed to assess change in order to provide clinical utility, but currently the psychometric properties of the CPQ with adolescents is unknown. Aims: To assess the factor structure and construct validity of the...
Article
Full-text available
Measurement of compulsive exercise is important for the study of eating pathology in individuals who regularly participate in sport and exercise. The current study examined the factor structure, internal consistency and validity of the compulsive exercise test (CET) in regular exercisers. Participants were recruited via the internet and from sport...
Preprint
Full-text available
Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa (BN) and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [rg], twin-based=0.23-0.53). We estimated the genetic correlati...
Article
Objective: This pilot study examined the validity of a comprehensive definition of recovery (physical, behavioral, and cognitive recovery indices) for the first time in men. Method: Men with an eating disorder history were recruited from former patients at eating disorder centers, university campuses, and fitness centers/gyms. At baseline and a...
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: Genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses, at sufficient sample sizes and power, have successfully revealed biological insights for several complex traits. RICOPILI, an open sourced Perl-based pipeline was developed to address the challenges of rapidly processing large scale multi-cohort GWAS studies including quality control, impu...
Article
Full-text available
Characterized primarily by a low body-mass index, anorexia nervosa is a complex and serious illness¹, affecting 0.9–4% of women and 0.3% of men2–4, with twin-based heritability estimates of 50–60%⁵. Mortality rates are higher than those in other psychiatric disorders⁶, and outcomes are unacceptably poor⁷. Here we combine data from the Anorexia Nerv...
Article
Objective: The aim was to examine in children and adolescents with eating disorders the relationship between perfectionism, anxiety, and depression at intake assessment and whether intake perfectionism was significantly associated with anxiety and depression at 6 months and 12 months post-intake review. Method: Participants were 167 females aged...
Article
Objective: Perfectionism is a risk factor for the development and maintenance of eating disorders. The objective of this study was to examine the efficacy of unguided Internet cognitive behaviour therapy for perfectionism (ICBT-P) as a treatment and prevention for perfectionism and symptoms of eating disorders, anxiety, depression and self-esteem...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and eating disorders (EDs) frequently co-occur, little is known about the shared etiology. In this study, we comprehensively investigated the genetic association between ADHD and various EDs, including anorexia nervosa (AN) and other EDs such as bulimia nervosa. Methods: We app...
Preprint
Full-text available
Motivation: Genome-wide association study (GWAS) analyses, at sufficient sample sizes and power, have successfully revealed biological insights for several complex traits. RICOPILI, an open sourced Perl-based pipeline was developed to address the challenges of rapidly processing large scale multi-cohort GWAS studies including quality control, imput...
Article
Objective The fetal programming model hypothesizes that developmental programming in utero and in early life induces adaptations that predetermine the adult phenotype. This study investigated whether prenatal/perinatal complications are associated with lifetime eating disorders in women. Method Participants included 46,373 adult women enrolled in...
Article
Full-text available
Latinos are less likely to seek health care for eating disorders and more likely to drop out of treatment than members of other ethnic groups, highlighting existing challenges to engagement in traditional mental health care. This study explored the role of family in the treatment of adult Latinas with eating disorders through content analysis of fa...
Preprint
Full-text available
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have discovered hundreds of loci associated with complex brain disorders, and provide the best current insights into the etiology of these idiopathic traits. However, it remains unclear in which cell types these variants may be active, which is essential for understanding disease etiology and for disease model...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Genetic factors contribute to anorexia nervosa (AN); and the first genome-wide significant locus has been identified. We describe methods and procedures for the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI), an international collaboration designed to rapidly recruit 13,000 individuals with AN as well as ancestrally matched controls. We p...
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Purpose of Review Our primary goal in this article is to review recent findings (from 2015 and on) concerning children of parents with eating disorders. This review addresses the question of whether the offspring of parents with past or present eating disorders have adverse outcomes. This update is timely and informative because recent research inc...
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Purpose of review: This review delineates issues in the conceptualization and operationalization of eating disorder recovery, highlights recent findings about recovery (since 2016), and proposes future directions. Recent findings: A longstanding problem in the field is that there are almost as many different definitions of recovery in eating dis...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Clinical perfectionism has been found to be a risk and maintaining factor in eating disorders (EDs), compulsive exercise, and athlete burnout. This study investigated whether an unguided internet cognitive–behavioral treatment (ICBT) for perfectionism would reduce ED pathology, compulsive exercise, and burnout in individuals who engage in...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Capturing trends in healthcare utilization may help to improve efficiencies in the detection and diagnosis of illness, to plan service delivery, and to forecast future health expenditures. For binge-eating disorder (BED), issues include lengthy delays in detection and diagnosis, missed opportunities for recognition and treatment, and mo...
Article
Objective: The link between perfectionism and eating disorders is well established in adults, however little research has been conducted in children and adolescents. The aim was to examine if perfectionism was a predictor of eating disorder symptoms at intake assessment, and 6 and 12 month review. Method: There were 175 children and adolescents...
Article
Objective: There are few evidence-based guidelines for inpatient pediatric eating disorders. The aim was to gain perspectives from those providing and receiving inpatient pediatric eating disorder care on the essential components treatment. Method: A modified Delphi technique was used to develop consensus-based opinions. Participants (N = 74) we...
Article
Objective: The aim of the study was to compare the DSM-IV, DSM-5, and ICD-10 eating disorders (ED) nomenclatures to assess their value in the classification of pediatric eating disorders. We investigated the prevalence of the disorders in accordance with each system's diagnostic criteria, diagnostic concordance between the systems, and interrater...
Preprint
Background Genetic factors contribute to anorexia nervosa (AN); and the first genome-wide significant locus has been identified. We describe methods and procedures for the Anorexia Nervosa Genetics Initiative (ANGI), an international collaboration designed to rapidly recruit 13000 individuals with AN as well as ancestrally matched controls. We pres...
Article
Objective: To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of Internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy for bulimia nervosa (CBT-BN) compared to face-to-face delivery of CBT-BN. Methods: This study is a planned secondary analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial. Participants were 179 adults (98% female, mean age = 28 years) meeting DSM-IV criteria...
Article
Research suggests that individuals with high liking for sweets are at increased risk for binge eating, which has been minimally investigated in individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED). Forty-one adults (85% female, 83% white) with binge eating concerns completed a sweet taste test and measures of eating disorder behaviors and food cravings. A...
Article
Full-text available
Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder presenting with dangerously low body weight, and a deep and persistent fear of gaining weight. To date, only one genome-wide significant locus associated with AN has been identified. We performed an exome-chip based genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in 2158 cases from nine population...
Article
Previous studies of the relationship between maternal eating disorders and adverse perinatal outcomes have failed to control for familial transmission of perinatal phenotypes, which may confound the reported association. In a unique design afforded by the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study and Medical Birth Registry of Norway, we linked three...
Article
Objective: The authors conducted a genome-wide association study of anorexia nervosa and calculated genetic correlations with a series of psychiatric, educational, and metabolic phenotypes. Method: Following uniform quality control and imputation procedures using the 1000 Genomes Project (phase 3) in 12 case-control cohorts comprising 3,495 anor...
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Full-text available
Objective: To investigate the quality of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of eating disorder prevention. Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, Scopus, and the Cochrane Collaboration Library to January 2016. Studies were included if they were RCTs that tested an eating disorder prevention program. W...
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Full-text available
Objective Weight suppression (WS), the difference between highest past non‐pregnancy weight and current weight, predicts negative outcomes in eating disorders, but the impact of WS and related weight constructs are understudied in nonclinical, midlife populations. We examined WS (current weight < highest weight) and weight elevation (WE), the oppos...
Article
Bulimia nervosa (BN) is characterized by symptoms of binge eating and compensatory behavior, and overevaluation of weight and shape, which often co-occur with symptoms of anxiety and depression. However, there is little research identifying which specific BN symptoms maintain BN psychopathology and how they are associated with symptoms of depressio...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The clinical significance of 2 main dimensions of perfectionism (perfectionistic strivings and perfectionistic concerns) was examined via a meta-analysis of studies investigating perfectionism in the psychopathology literature. Method: We investigated relationships between psychopathology outcomes (clinical diagnoses of depression, an...
Article
Objective: Although cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) represents the first-line evidence-based psychotherapy for bulimia nervosa (BN), most individuals seeking treatment do not have access to this specialized intervention. We compared an Internet-based manualized version of CBT group therapy for BN conducted via a therapeutic chat group (CBT4BN)...
Article
Objective: We sought to identify predictors and moderators of failure to engage (i.e., pretreatment attrition) and dropout in both Internet-based and traditional face-to-face cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for bulimia nervosa. We also sought to determine if Internet-based treatment reduced failure to engage and dropout. Method: Participants...
Article
Objective: To evaluate associations between binge-eating disorder (BED) and somatic illnesses and determine whether medical comorbidities are more common in individuals who present with BED and comorbid obesity. Method: Cases (n = 850) were individuals with a BED diagnosis in the Swedish eating disorders quality registers. Ten community controls...
Article
Objective: Individuals with binge-eating disorder (BED) experience psychiatric and somatic comorbidities and obesity, but the nature and magnitude of prescription medication utilization is unclear. We investigated utilization using Swedish registry data and a case-control design. Methods: Cases were identified from Riksät and Stepwise longitudin...
Article
Perfectionism is a risk and maintaining factor across psychopathology and has been proposed to be a transdiagnostic process. The aim of this study was to examine the reliability and validity of the Clinical Perfectionism Questionnaire (CPQ) in 32 adults (75% female, M age = 35.54 years, SD = 9.71) with a range of psychological disorders, presenting...
Article
Objective: This systematic review evaluated the efficacy of universal, selective, and indicated eating disorder prevention. Method: A systematic literature search was conducted in Medline, PsycINFO, Embase, Scopus, and the Cochrane Collaboration Library databases to January 2016. Studies were included if they were randomized, controlled trials (...
Article
Objective: The factor structure of the eating disorder examination (EDE) has never been tested in a clinical pediatric sample, and no normative data exist. Method: The factor structure of an adapted EDE was examined in a clinical sample of 665 females aged 9-17 years with anorexia nervosa spectrum (70%), bulimia nervosa spectrum (12%), purging d...
Article
Full-text available
Young males with eating disorders are a neglected study population in eating disorders. The aim of this study was to provide knowledge about the clinical presentation of eating disorders in young males. The data source was the Helping to Outline Paediatric Eating Disorders (HOPE) Project (N ~ 1000), a prospective, ongoing registry comprising consec...
Article
Full-text available
Compulsive exercising is the most common compensatory behaviour amongst children and adolescents with eating disorders. The Compulsive Exercise Test is a self-report measure that has been recently developed to assess the cognitive, behavioural and affective features of compulsive exercise. The aim of the current study was to validate the measure us...
Article
Objective: The relevance of the microbe-gut-brain axis to psychopathology is of interest in anorexia nervosa (AN), as the intestinal microbiota plays a critical role in metabolic function and weight regulation. Methods: We characterized the composition and diversity of the intestinal microbiota in AN, using stool samples collected at inpatient a...
Chapter
This chapter introduces counselors to an evidence-based treatment that can be applied to all eating disorder (ED) diagnoses in adults. Enhanced cognitive?behavioral therapy (CBT?E) is a relatively new treatment that has shown promising results in research and community settings. It is important that counselors have access to evidence-based protocol...
Article
To examine the prevalence and importance of psychological, behavioural, and situational correlates of impending psychiatric inpatient admissions in children and adolescents with eating disorders. The sample consisted of 285 patients (8-17 years, M = 14.4, SD = 1.49) with DSM-5 eating disorders assessed between 2006 and 2013 from the Helping to Outl...