Predictors of eating disorder scores in children ages 6 through 14: a longitudinal study

Author: Gardner, R.M.; Stark, K.; Friedman, B.N.; Jackson, N.A.

Description: The objective of this study was to identify variables that predict higher eating disorder scores in non-clinical boys and girls ages 6 through 14. Two hundred sixteen children participated and were tested annually for 3 years. A TV-video procedure was used to measure the accuracy of body size judgments. Variables examined included demographic, familial, sociocultural, social, esteem, and clinical variables. Predictors of higher eating disorder scores for both sexes included height and weight, children’s perceptions of parental concerns about their body size, low body esteem, and depression. For girls only, a larger perceived body size and smaller idealized body size were also predictors. Teasing was a predictor for boys only. An analysis of longitudinal changes suggests that low body esteem becomes a significant factor around age 9, depression emerges as a predictor at age 10, and body size judgments in perceived and ideal sizes at ages 11 and 12. Changes over 2 years in individuals’ weight and height, teasing, body dissatisfaction, and eating disorder scores were also found to predict higher eating disorder scores.

Subject headings: Adolescent; Adolescent Psychology; Body Constitution; Body Image; Child; Child Psychology; Colorado; Confounding Factors (Epidemiology); Depression; Eating Disorders/diagnosis/psychology; Family; Female; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Male; Peer Group; Prognosis; Regression Analysis; Risk Factors; Self Concept; Sex Factors; Social Desirability

Publication year: 2000

Journal or book title: Journal of Psychosomatic Research

Volume: 49

Issue: 3

Pages: 199-205

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 93