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The influence of significant others on disordered eating and body dissatisfaction among early adolescent girls

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The current study evaluated the variables associated with disordered eating and body dissatisfaction among early adolescent girls. The impact of the following variables on body dissatisfaction and disordered eating were assessed: perceived views of society, parents and peers regarding weight, self esteem, locus of control, onset of menarche, body mass index and the importance placed on appearance. One hundred and eleven girls enrolled in year 7, aged between 11 to 13 years (x=12.46) participated in this study. The results indicated that young adolescent girls expressed moderate levels of disordered eating and moderate dissatisfaction with their bodies. Respondents who were more dissatisfied with their bodies exhibited higher levels of disordered eating. The most important predictors of body dissatisfaction were self esteem, body mass index, and the perceived views of society. Prediction of disordered eating was not improved by the perceived views of significant others, after the other variables were accounted for. Limitations and direction of future research are discussed. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
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Keywords: adolescent girls; body dissatisfaction; disordered eating; significant others

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Psychology, Deakin University, Australia

Publication date: 2000-08-01

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