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Design Critique

Exercise designed by Stephany Biello

Read the article Hudson et al. "Family history study of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia" Brit. J. Psychiat. (1983) vol.142 pp.133-138

Answer the questions below. Use short answers and an outline form when possible. After answering the questions, make notes to yourself to form a critique of this study. Identify what you think are major criticisms vs. minor criticisms.


1. Put into your own words the 5 reasons the authors list to suggest that anorexia nervosa and bulimia might be related to affective disorder.


2. Describe the three groups of subjects with eating disorders (AN, B, AN/B). How were these subjects recruited?

3. Describe the three groups of subjects used for comparisons. How were these subjects recruited?

4. How did the authors determine the family history of affective disorder?


5. Summarise the results, using numbers and referring to the tables. Describe the relationship between A. eating disorders and family history of eating disorders, and B. eating disorders vs. the comparison group.


6. The first paragraph of the discussion describes previous studies. For each study, list the eating disorder group studies and the rate of affective disorders, in the families. How do these results compare with those of the present study?

7. The second paragraph describes a possible problem with the procedures used in this experiment. What is this problem, and what two points do the authors make in defence of the validity of their results?

8. What is the authors' argument against a possible sampling bias?

9. Why do the authors feel that genetics offers the most likely explanation of their results?

10. In the last sentence, the authors say, "These results add to the evidence... that the eating disorders may be forms of affective disorder." Respond to this statement in your notes for discussion.

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