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Psychosocial Predictors of Eating Disorder Risk in Overweight and Obese Treatment-Seeking Adolescents

  • Jade V. Russo (a1), Leah Brennan (a2), Jeff Walkley (a3), Steve F. Fraser (a4) and Kate Greenway (a5)...

Abstract

This study explored eating disorder risk factors and possible psychosocial predictors of this risk in overweight and obese treatment-seeking adolescents. Prior to commencing treatment 108 overweight and obese adolescents aged 11 to 17 years (M = 14.31, SD = 1.57; 55% female) completed self-report measures of psychosocial factors. Females reported elevated levels of bulimic tendencies, body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness (p ≤.001) and males reported elevated body dissatisfaction (p < .001). Age, sex and BMI-for-age z-score explained 15% (p < .001) of the variance in eating disorder risk and psychosocial predictors an additional 25%. Sex did not have a moderating effect on these relationships (p = .21). Among overweight and obese treatment-seeking adolescents, those experiencing lower self-esteem and elevated depression and anxiety symptomatology are at increased eating disorder risk. This highlights the need to consider psychosocial factors in preventing and treating overweight and obesity.

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Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr Leah Brennan, Centre for Obesity Research and Education Level 6, The Alfred Centre, 99 Commercial Road, Melbourne VIC 3004, Australia.
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Behaviour Change
  • ISSN: 0813-4839
  • EISSN: 2049-7768
  • URL: /core/journals/behaviour-change
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