Comments from the Editors Kelly Klump, PhD1 Howard Steiger, PhD2 Marian Tanofsky-Kraff, PhD3

Introduction As part of its mission to advance science that contributes to the understanding, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders, the International Journal of Eating Disorders (IJED) editorial team has endeavored to organize occasional theme issues. The end aim is to periodically organize, in a single IJED issue, papers addressing an important and often newly developing body of knowledge in our field, and to provide an outlet for new research bearing up the chosen theme. The result, we hope, will be to provide IJED readers with easy access to the most upto-date knowledge in priority areas in the field. In keeping with these objectives, the IJED editors opted to prepare a theme issue addressing “Developmental Risk for Eating Disorders across the Lifespan.” To ensure that the issue would not only represent established opinions in our field but also the best of current science bearing up the developmental theme, we carefully chose a sampling of invited papers (six in all) while reserving the remaining pages for submitted papers, all subjected to peer review, from outstanding clinician-scientists in our field. The result, we hope you will agree, is a very unique and valuable collection of cutting-edge papers. The call for papers for the special issue drew a large number of unsolicited submissions (25 in all). As editors, we had the luxury of choosing from the very best—but also the very difficult task of selecting a small number of top papers from many exceptional ones. The resulting collection represents contributions from diverse countries (affirming IJED’s Accepted 29 August 2014 *Correspondence to: Kelly L. Klump, Professor and Co-Director of the Michigan State University Twin Registry Department of Psychology Michigan State University, 316 Physics Rd - Room 107B, East Lansing, MI 48824-1116. E-mail: [email protected] 1 Twin Registry Department of Psychology Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 2 Eating Disorders Program, Douglas Institute, Psychiatry Department, McGill University, Verdun, Quebec, Canada 3 Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Developmental Research Laboratory on Eating and Weight Behaviors Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD Published online 20 October 2014 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). DOI: 10.1002/eat.22356 C 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. V

International Journal of Eating Disorders 47:7 675 2014

global nature), and covers a wide range of perspectives and levels of analysis—biological, psychological, familial, and cultural. Befitting its promise to address developmental factors across the lifespan, there are papers concerned with prenatal/perinatal influences, risk factors in childhood, risk factors in adolescence, and risk factors in adulthood. You will notice that the best-represented life stage in this issue is adolescence. Although likely to be a natural reflection of the realities of eating disorder epidemiology, this imbalance also sends a message and a call for additional priorities in the field—we need data on early precursors and on the eating disorders occurring beyond early adulthood. Without these data, we are limited in our knowledge of how eating disorders manifest across time and of the types of factors that give rise to these disorders across and within developmental stages. While the preceding is true, in preparing this theme issue, we have also become very sensitized to the fact that there exists an on-going need to flesh out the mechanisms contributing to eating disorder risk and expression at all life stages—early in the life cycle (to understand predisposing factors), at later stages when risk of eating-disorder onset is high (to clarify precipitating factors), and then in later life stages (to gain a better understanding of the action of perpetuating factors that impact the course of illness, treatment response and recovery). As has always been the case in our field, such work needs to be multidimensional (to properly reflect biological, psychological and social spheres), multidisciplinary, and transformational (integrating research and practice). Although much work remains to be done, in preparing this special IJED volume, we developed a keen appreciation of the excellent work that professionals in our field are conducting, and of the huge contribution to knowledge about eating disorders that these coworkers’ work has made. We wish to congratulate and thank all of the contributors to this special Developmental Risk/Lifespan issue. The list of authors for this issue is an impressive one, and we are delighted with the intellectual contribution to science that these individuals have collectively made. We hope that you, our readers, will equally enjoy this issue.


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Comments from the editors.

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