Binge-eating episodes involve eating an unusually large amount of food and feeling unable to control the type or amount of food consumed while eating. Among adolescents, loss-of-control (LOC) eating is a precursor to excess weight gain and binge-eating disorder. Binge/LOC eating is also associated with physical and mental health impairments, and psychosocial distress. Although excess weight and binge/LOC eating have serious immediate and long-term consequences, assessment and treatment have received minimal attention for adolescent patients. Among adults, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has a strong evidence base for binge- eating disorder. Among adolescents, there are no well-established treatments for binge/LOC eating. Adolescents have unique social, cognitive and emotional needs because of their developmental stage; unique treatment approaches are essential to meet these unique needs. This Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award (K23 with Clinical Trial) builds upon the candidate?s programmatic clinical- research interest in the treatment of weight and eating disorders. Training objectives and research activities for this K23 are to develop new skills and expertise in (a) treatment development and initial efficacy testing as described by the Stage Model of Behavioral Therapies Research, and (b) advanced statistical skills for repeated and dyadic data. Development of CBT for adolescent binge/LOC eating will make a significant contribution to our understanding of treatment in an important step towards reducing health impairments and psychosocial distress associated with adolescent binge/LOC eating and excess weight. Research activities are tightly integrated with training activities and mentorship from an advisory team of internationally-recognized scholars to facilitate the candidate?s development of necessary skills to become an independent and impactful investigator in the fields of childhood obesity and eating disorders. The training plan enlists the mentorship of Carlos Grilo, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and Director of the Yale Program for Obesity, Weight, and Eating Research, and Wendy Silverman, PhD, Alfred A. Messer Professor in the Yale Child Study Center and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Yale Child Study Center Program for Anxiety Disorders. Dr. Grilo?s expertise in the treatment of adult binge-eating disorder and obesity is complemented by Dr. Silverman?s expertise in youth treatments. Together, their mentorship will facilitate successful execution of the proposed research aims and career objectives. Research and training activities will also make use of other clinical-research educational programs at Yale (e.g., CTSA, Psychotherapy Development Center) that offer many formal training activities, opportunities, and resources. Skills (treatment development and advanced statistical analysis) will yield a new treatment and initial efficacy data for future tests of efficacy and effectiveness throughout the candidate?s career.
Youth who engage in binge/loss-of-control eating (patterns of discrete eating episodes that involve feeling unable to control the type or amount of food consumed while eating) are at high risk for excess weight gain and physical and mental health impairment. As there are few evidence-based treatments for adolescents with binge/loss-of-control eating, a clear clinical priority is adolescent treatment development research, such as the modification of cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT) for binge-eating disorder, which has a strong evidence base for adult patients. The proposed training plan?treatment development and initial efficacy testing guided by the Stage Model of Behavioral Therapies Research, and advanced statistical training?can help improve understanding of the treatment of adolescent binge/loss-of-control eating.