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Body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitudes in 7- to 11-year old girls: testing a sociocultural model

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elizabeth Evans, Dr Martin Tovee

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Abstract

We examined the sociocultural model of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating attitude development in young girls for the first time. According to the model, internalising an unrealistically thin ideal body – not just being aware of its cultural prominence – increases the risk of disordered eating via body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint and depression. 127 school-girls aged 7-11 years completed measures of thin-ideal internalization and awareness, body dissatisfaction, dieting, depression and disordered eating attitudes. Participants’ height and weight were measured and their body mass index calculated. Thin-ideal internalization predicted disordered eating attitudes indirectly via body dissatisfaction, dietary restraint and depression; it also predicted disordered eating attitudes directly. Path analyses showed that a revised sociocultural model fit well with the data. These data show that a sociocultural framework for understanding disordered eating and body dissatisfaction in adults is useful, with minor modifications, in understanding the development of related attitudes in young girls.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Evans EH, Tovée MJ, Boothroyd LG, Drewett RF

Publication type: Article

Journal: Body Image

Year: 2013

Volume: 10

Issue: 1

Pages: 8-15

Print publication date: 01/01/2013

ISSN (print): 1740-1445

ISSN (electronic): 1873-6807

Publisher: Elsevier BV

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.10.001

DOI: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2012.10.001


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