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Individual and contextual influences on early adolescent girls' disordered eating

by Sinton, Meghan M.

Abstract (Summary)
Research aims were to 1) use cluster analysis to examine patterns of disordered eating risk (weight status, weight concern, and depression) in age 9 girls, 2) examine associations between cluster membership and multiple disordered eating indicators at ages 11 and 13, 3) examine stability in cluster variables over time and the influence of pubertal development on such risk, and 4) examine if clusters were influence by broader developmental factors within the family environment. Self-report data from 163 girls, assessed at ages 9, 11, and 13 were used to address these aims. Cluster analyses indicated 3 clusters at age 9: low risk (LR; n = 60), higher weight status (HW; n = 68), and higher depression (HD; n = 35). At ages 11 and 13, girls in the HD cluster significantly higher binge eating scores and emotional eating scores in comparison to the other two clusters. Girls in the HD and HW clusters had higher restraint scores and body dissatisfaction scores at ages 11 and 13, and were more likely to be classified as unhealthy dieters at age 13, relative to girls in the LR cluster. Controlling for age 11 pubertal development did not change results. Instead age 11 pubertal development was associated with higher weight status at ages 11 and 13 and higher weight concern scores and depression scores at age 13. At ages 7 and 9, girls in the HW and HD were exposed to greater parental encouragement of weight loss and conflict over girls’ elevated weight status; these girls were also more likely to have at least one overweight parent relative to girls in the LR cluster. Girls in the HD further differed from girls in the LR cluster in that they perceived more frequent and threatening parental conflict and greater parental use of psychological control. Girls in the LR cluster, in contrast perceived more parental iv resolution of conflict and reported more parental monitoring, but less parental use of psychological control. Finally, girls in both the LR and HW reported more social support (i.e. peer and parent support) in contrast to girls in the HD. v
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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