Underlying Mechanisms and Trajectory of Comorbid ADHD and Eating Disorders: Proposing an Innovative Systems Framework for Informing Research

  • Jennifer BleckEmail author
  • Rita DeBate
  • Bruce Lubotsky Levin
  • Julie Baldwin


ADHD and eating disorders are both significant public health issues. Emerging evidence suggests that ADHD and eating disorders may be comorbid resulting in increased severity of associated health issues. Although several hypotheses have been proposed with respect to the underlying mechanisms of the comorbidity, there is a need for a conceptual model, which presents the simultaneous investigation of the trajectory of onset and multiple hypotheses. The current paper proposes an innovative conceptual model that can be used to simultaneously explore hypothesized underlying mechanisms by triangulating current literature with aspects of the biopsychosocial model, life course approach, Risk Regulator Framework, research domain criteria matrix, and the person-environment transaction theory. Designated within the model are proposed pathways that serve to describe how various psychosocial and psychiatric risk regulators and genetic risk factors combine to influence the comorbidity across the lifespan. The proposed conceptual model can provide the foundation for further research regarding comorbid ADHD and eating disorders in addition to translation for use among other comorbid conditions.


ADHD Binge eating Eating disorders Comorbidity Theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer Bleck
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rita DeBate
    • 1
  • Bruce Lubotsky Levin
    • 2
  • Julie Baldwin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public HealthUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA
  2. 2.Child and Family StudiesUniversity of South FloridaTampaUSA

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