Ata Ghaderi's research group

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Clinical Psychology: Etiology, prevention, and treatment of eating disorders.

Clinical psychology can be described as a field within psychology characterized by integration of science and clinical practice for understanding the emergence of psychological problems as well as effective ways of preventing and treating these conditions. Psychological assessment and treatment is at the heart of clinical psychology.

Understanding, prevention and treatment of eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorders) is the core research area within our group. Examples of studies within this subject area are: prospective studies of the risk factors for the development of eating disorders (ED) among children, adolescents, and adults; effective ways of preventing emergence of ED or disordered eating; development, testing and enhancing psychological treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorders; and improving access to efficacious treatments.

Examples of related themes that we study are: the basic mechanisms involved in normal as well as abnormal body-image; body image dissatisfaction and its treatment; treatment of body dysmorphic disorder, body-image issues and surgery; the role of binge eating and other psychosocial factors such as attention deficit or hazardous alcohol consumption for the outcome of bariatric surgery; and prevention of obesity.

Examples of other research topics within our group are strategies for implementing universal parent training programs and their impact, and early prevention of conduct problems among children. We are studying the effectiveness (not efficacy) of two parent-training programs: 1) Communication method (Comet), 2) and Family Check-up in a randomized trial. Other areas are: prevention of depression and anxiety among school-aged children by evaluating a structured program called “Friends”; development and evaluation of a new way of teaching arithmetic to second grade students using Direct Instruction and Behavior Analysis, and investigating the role of working memory and arithmetic in acquisition of math skills; and finally outpatient treatment of severe self-harm behaviors among adolescents. 

Research projects

  • Eating disorders among males
  • The role of focused attention on details for the perception of size and shape
  • Behavioral activation for the treatment of binge eating disorder
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy for the treatment of anorexia nervosa
  • Prevention of depression and anxiety among school aged children (Friends)
  • Effectiveness of Family Check-Up (FCU) versus Internet-based Communication method (iComet) for early treatment of conduct problems
  • Intensive contextual treatment of severe self-harm among adolescents
  • APPS: Adaptive Programs on iPad (learning arithmetic)
  • Primrose: Early prevention of obesity (in cooperation with the Department of Public Health Sciences at KI)
  • ADDAPT (Anxiety, Depression, Diet, Alcohol, Physical activity, and Tobacco): Integrated treatment of motivational interviewing and cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression, anxiety disorders, and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors in psychiatric outpatient care (

We are also planning for projects such as Dissonance-based prevention of eating disorders, imagery in relation to body image, and the role of metacognition in the acquisition of skills in cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Selected publications

Does individualization matter? A randomized trial of standardized (focused) versus individualized (broad) cognitive behavior therapy for bulimia nervosa.
Ghaderi A
Behav Res Ther 2006 Feb;44(2):273-88

Guided self-help as the first step for bulimic symptoms: implementation of a stepped-care model within specialized psychiatry.
Ramklint M, Jeansson M, Holmgren S, Ghaderi A
Int J Eat Disord 2012 Jan;45(1):70-8

Alexithymia and emotional awareness in anorexia nervosa: time for a shift in the measurement of the concept?
Parling T, Mortazavi M, Ghaderi A
Eat Behav 2010 Dec;11(4):205-10

Remote treatment of bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder: a randomized trial of Internet-assisted cognitive behavioural therapy.
Ljotsson B, Lundin C, Mitsell K, Carlbring P, Ramklint M, Ghaderi A
Behav Res Ther 2007 Apr;45(4):649-61

Structural modeling analysis of prospective risk factors for eating disorder.
Ghaderi A
Eat Behav 2003 Jan;3(4):387-96

Group members

Elin Allzén Project coordinator
Maria Beckan Psychologist, Phd student
Moa Bråthén Wiijana Psychologist, Phd student
Johanna Enö Persson Psychologist, Phd student
Ata Ghaderi Professor, Research group leader
Martin Hassler Psychologist, PhD student
Jenny Thunberg Research assistent
Johan Åhlen Psykolog, PhD student