Melissa A Munn-Chernoff

Melissa A Munn-Chernoff
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | UNC · Department of Psychiatry

Ph.D.

About

59
Publications
7,176
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
921
Citations
Education
June 2011 - February 2015
Washington University in St. Louis
Field of study
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship in Psychiatric and Genetic Epidemiology
August 2006 - March 2011
University of Colorado
Field of study
  • Psychology (Behavior Genetics)
August 2004 - May 2006
Washington University in St. Louis
Field of study
  • Psychiatric Epidemiology

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Background: Disordered eating is associated with elevated cardiometabolic risks, yet most studies have been conducted in clinical settings with small European-ancestry samples. We investigated disordered eating and cardiometabolic risks in a large population-based sample of women in China. Methods: Participants included 1,999 Chinese women (aged 18...
Article
Full-text available
Cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent signaling is highly implicated in the pathophysiology of alcohol use disorder (AUD), with evidence supporting the efficacy of inhibiting the cAMP hydro-lyzing enzyme phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) as a therapeutic strategy for drinking reduction. Off-target emetic effects associated with non-selective PDE4 inhibitors has pro...
Article
Objective Food-restricted alcohol consumption (FRAC) is a growing concern among college students. We investigated demographic and lifestyle characteristics and psychiatric symptoms associated with FRAC. Participants: College students (n = 561) at a large southeastern university in the United States. Methods: Participants completed online self-repor...
Article
Inconsistent information on levels of eating pathology in Asian Americans exist. We investigated whether there were differences in mean scores for eating disorder (ED) symptoms among Whites, Asian Americans, and individuals identifying as another race (i.e., non-Asian people of color [NAPOC]). Participants included 716 college students (M age = 19....
Article
A positive association between food addiction (i.e., an addiction to compulsively overeat highly palatable foods) and body dissatisfaction in college students exists. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms. Eating expectancies, one's learning history regarding the association between eating and its consequences, may provide potent...
Article
Background Studies consistently report a higher prevalence of substance use disorders (SUDs) among women with eating disorders than control women. However, limited research exists on the prevalence of eating disordersymptoms and diagnoses in women with SUDs, especially in community-based populations. We examined the prevalence of eating disorder sy...
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
Objective: Research indicates a link between ovarian hormones and eating pathology, suggesting that some women with an eating disorder may be ovarian hormone sensitive. Using premenstrual symptoms (PMS) as an indirect measure of ovarian hormone sensitivity, we investigated the association between 11 PMS domains and four core eating disorder sympto...
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
Eating expectancies, or learned expectations that an individual has about eating, prospectively predict eating disorder (ED) symptoms. Most studies examining eating expectancies have focused on one or two eating expectancies and their relation with bulimic symptoms. In addition, these studies have been conducted mostly in women. Thus, it is unclear...
Article
Youth with loss of control eating (LOC) have poorer social relationships than youth without LOC. However, perceived family functioning among youth reporting LOC is relatively unexplored. We examined perceived family functioning among 990 twins (age = 17.47 ± 0.71 years, 53% female) from the Colorado Center for Antisocial Drug Dependence with (n = 1...
Article
The prevalence of psychiatric disorders, such as major depression and anxiety, is higher in sexual minority individuals (eg, those who identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual or are unsure of their orientation) than heterosexual individuals.¹ Eating disorders and alcohol use also are more common in sexual minority groups, yet the extent to which they...
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...
Article
Background Alcohol involvement has familial associations with bulimic symptoms (i.e., binge eating, inappropriate compensatory behaviors), with several studies indicating a genetic overlap between the two. It is unclear whether overlapping familial risk with alcohol involvement extends to other eating disorder symptoms. Understanding the genetic ov...
Article
Objective: Twin studies have shown that genetic factors in part explain the established relation between alcohol use (i.e., problematic use or abuse/dependence) and eating disorder symptoms in adolescent and adult females. However, studies have yet to elucidate if there are similar shared genetic factors between other aspects of substance involvem...
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
Full-text available
Objective: In 2015, the Academy for Eating Disorders collaborated with international patient, advocacy, and parent organizations to craft the 'Nine Truths About Eating Disorders'. This document has been translated into over 30 languages and has been distributed globally to replace outdated and erroneous stereotypes about eating disorders with fact...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose of review: Genetic factors contribute to the etiology of anorexia nervosa (AN). This review synthesizes the current state of knowledge about the genetic etiology of AN, provides directions for future research, and discusses clinical implications for this research. Recent findings: Candidate gene meta-analyses indicate serotonin genes may...
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
Full-text available
Twin studies show the established relation between bulimic symptoms and problematic alcohol involvement in adult females is partly due to shared familial factors, specifically shared genetic effects. However, it is unclear if similar shared etiological factors exist during adolescence or in males. We examined the familial overlap (i.e., genetic and...
Chapter
Eating disorders are serious psychiatric disorders that have a significant genetic component. Despite recognising this, researchers have yet to identify the specific genetic factors involved in their aetiology. Early methods, including candidate gene association studies, suggested that genetic factors in the serotonin and dopamine systems, as well...
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
Full-text available
This study examined the genetic and environmental influences on rumination and its associations with several forms of psychopathology in a sample of adult twins (N = 744). Rumination was significantly associated with major depressive disorder, depressive symptoms, generalized anxiety disorder, eating pathology, and substance dependence symptoms. Th...
Article
The extent to which genetic and environmental factors influenced anorexia nervosa (AN), major depressive disorder (MDD), and suicide attempts (SA) were evaluated. Participants were 6,899 women from the Swedish Twin Study of Adults: Genes and Environment. A Cholesky decomposition assessed independent and overlapping genetic and environmental contrib...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: We examined the association between the genetic and environmental factors contributing to the liability to having ever engaged in self-induced vomiting (SIV initiation) and the genetic and environmental factors contributing to regular SIV behaviors (weekly or daily) for weight control. Method: SIV was assessed in 3,942 women from mono...
Article
Eating disorders (EDs) and substance use disorders (SUDs) frequently co-occur; however, the reasons for this are unclear. We review the current literature on genetic risk for EDs and SUDs, as well as preliminary findings exploring whether these classes of disorders have overlapping genetic risk. Overall, genetic factors contribute to individual dif...
Article
Objective: Research indicates that low parental monitoring increases the risk for early substance use. Because low parental monitoring tends to co-occur with other familial and neighborhood factors, the specificity of the association is challenging to establish. Using logistic regression and propensity score analyses, we examined associations betw...
Article
Background Bulimic behaviors (i.e., binge eating and compensatory behaviors) and substance use frequently co-occur. However, the etiology underlying this association is poorly understood. This study evaluated the association between bulimic behaviors and early substance use, controlling for genetic and shared environmental factors.Methods Participa...
Article
Full-text available
Despite substantial evidence that alcohol use disorder (AUD) and bulimic behaviors (i.e., binge eating and compensatory behaviors) co-occur, insufficient information exists regarding a possible shared etiology. Moreover, although numerous twin studies of European ancestry individuals have reported moderate heritability estimates for AUD and bulimic...
Article
This study examined associations of gender identity and sexual orientation with self-reported eating disorder (SR-ED) diagnosis and compensatory behaviors in transgender and cisgender college students. Data came from 289,024 students from 223 U.S. universities participating in the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessme...
Article
Purging disorder (PD) was recently included as an otherwise specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) in the DSM-5; however, limited information is available on its prevalence, and its etiology is unknown. Data from 1,790 monozygotic and 1,440 dizygotic European American female twins (age range = 18-29 years) from the Missouri Adolescent Female...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to examine interrelationships between child maltreatment, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and body mass index (BMI) in young women. We used multinomial logistic regression models to explore the possibility that PTSD statistically mediates or moderates the association between BMI category and self-reported child...
Article
Full-text available
It is unknown whether there are racial differences in the heritability of major depressive disorder (MDD) because most psychiatric genetic studies have been conducted in samples comprised largely of white non-Hispanics. To examine potential differences between African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) young adult women in (1) Diagnostic and...
Article
Objective Although prior studies have demonstrated that depression is associated with an overeating–binge eating dimension (OE-BE) phenotypically, little research has investigated whether familial factors contribute to the co-occurrence of these phenotypes, especially in community samples with multiple racial/ethnic groups. We examined the extent t...
Article
Full-text available
Aspects of disordered eating and personality traits, such as neuroticism, are correlated and individually heritable. We examined the phenotypic correlation between binge eating episodes and indices of personality (neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and control/impulsivity). For correlations ≥|0.20|,...
Article
We examined the association between 15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in HTR2A and characteristics of disordered eating, including weight/shape concerns, binge eating (with or without loss of control), and compensatory behaviors (purging and nonpurging). Whether a lifetime history of major depressive disorder (MDD) moderated or mediated thi...
Article
It is well established that there is substantial comorbidity between eating disorders and substance use disorders. However, it is unclear why these two disorders frequently co-occur. It has been hypothesized that the two disorders may share a common etiology, which could be genetic in nature. There is ample evidence that the eating disorders, speci...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Rates of alcohol dependence are elevated in women with eating disorders who engage in binge eating or compensatory behaviors compared with women with eating disorders who do not report binge eating or compensatory behaviors and with healthy controls. Alcohol dependence, binge eating, and compensatory behaviors are heritable; however, it...
Article
Full-text available
Little research has investigated whether the twin representativeness assumption (that results from twin research generalize to singletons) holds for eating pathology and internalizing symptoms. This study compared disordered eating, depression, and anxiety among young adult female twins versus singletons. Participants included 292 twins and 997 sin...
Article
The serotonin system has been implicated in mood and appetite regulation, and the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) is a commonly studied candidate gene for eating pathology. However, most studies have focused on a single polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in SLC6A4; little research has utilized multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to investigate...
Article
We examined the etiology of two disordered eating characteristics. Participants included 1,470 female adolescent and young adult twins and their female nontwin siblings. Phenotypic factor analyses of a seven-item eating pathology screening tool yielded two factors: weight and shape concerns and behaviors (WSCB) and binge eating (BE). Univariate and...
Article
Previous research examining the amygdala volumes in major depressive disorder (MDD) has found conflicting evidence for association. Furthermore, few of these studies have examined differences in individuals with an onset during childhood or adolescence. This study examined amygdala volume and its potential association with early onset major depress...
Article
Objective Previous studies have found a season of birth effect for women with eating disorders. However, findings regarding the two types of season of birth (i.e. month of birth and temperature at conception) have been conflicting, and few studies have examined relationships between season of birth and general disordered eating in non-clinical popu...
Article
Earlier studies have suggested relationships between season of birth and eating disorders. These studies have found that women with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN) are more likely to be born in the first 6 months rather than in the last 6 months of the year. The current study examines relationships between season of birth and general...

Network

Cited By