The Classification of Eating Disorders

Kathryn H. Gordon, Jill M. Holm-Denoma, Ross D. Crosby and Stephen A. Wonderlich

in The Oxford Handbook of Eating Disorders

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780195373622
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Classification of Eating Disorders


The purpose of the chapter is to elucidate the key issues regarding the classification of eating disorders. To this end, a review of nosological research in the area of eating disorders is presented, with a particular focus on empirically based techniques such as taxometric and latent class analysis. This is followed by a section outlining areas of overlap between the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) eating disorder categories and their symptoms. Next, eating disorder classification models that are alternatives to the DSM-IV-TR are described and critically examined in light of available empirical data. Finally, areas of controversy and considerations for change in next version of the DSM (i.e., the applicability of DSM criteria to minority groups, children, males; the question of whether clinical categories should be differentiated from research categories) are discussed.

Keywords: classification; diagnostic models; eating disorders; latent class analyses; nosology; taxometrics

Article.  12319 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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