A longitudinal investigation of the impact of disordered eating on young women's quality of life

Wade, Tracey D., Wilksch, Simon M. and Lee, Christina (2012) A longitudinal investigation of the impact of disordered eating on young women's quality of life. Health Psychology, 31 3: 352-359. doi:10.1037/a0025956

Author Wade, Tracey D.
Wilksch, Simon M.
Lee, Christina
Title A longitudinal investigation of the impact of disordered eating on young women's quality of life
Journal name Health Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0278-6133
Publication date 2012-05
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1037/a0025956
Volume 31
Issue 3
Start page 352
End page 359
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, DC, United States
Publisher American Psychological Association
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: The extent to which subclinical levels of disordered eating affect quality of life (QOL) was assessed. Method: Four waves of self-report data from Survey 2 (S2) to 5 (S5) of a national longitudinal survey of young Australian women ( N = 9,688) were used to assess the impact of any level of disordered eating at S2 on QOL over the following 9 years, and to evaluate any moderating effects of social support and of depression. Results: At baseline, 23% of the women exhibited some level of disordered eating, and they scored significantly lower on both the physical and the mental component scores of the SF-36 at every survey; differences in mental health were still clinically meaningful at S5. Social support and depressive symptoms each acted as a moderator of the mental component scores. Women with both disordered eating and low social support, or disordered eating and depression, had the worst initial scores; although they improved the most over time, they still had the lowest scores at S5. Higher social support at baseline resulted in women with disordered eating being largely indistinguishable from women without disordered eating who had low social support. Lower levels of depression resulted in women with disordered eating having a significantly better QOL than women with high levels of depression, regardless of eating status. Conclusions: This is the first study to examine the long-term impact of subclinical levels of disordered eating on QOL, and it suggests that even apparently minor levels of symptomatology are associated with significant and far-reaching deficits in well-being.
Keyword Disordered eating
Quality of life
Young women
Social support
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published Online First November 7, 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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