Exploring socio-emotional markers of emerging eating disorders in early adolescence: A population based study

Thomas, Rebekah (2015). Exploring socio-emotional markers of emerging eating disorders in early adolescence: A population based study Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Thomas, Rebekah
Thesis Title Exploring socio-emotional markers of emerging eating disorders in early adolescence: A population based study
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Adrian Kelly
Total pages 110
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
Signs of eating disorders commonly emerge during early to middle adolescence, are most prevalent in girls, and are significantly associated with subsequent eating disorder diagnoses. Available research points to psychological distress (anxiety and depression), early puberty, bullying and family problems as important contextual factors, but no research has examined how these factors together interact to predict emerging eating disorders. This research utilises a large scale state-representative survey of adolescent girls (N = 5,125) conducted by the Department of Education and Early Childhood (Government of Victoria). The research consists of three parts: (1) Verification of the psychometric properties of the Branched Eating Disorders Test; (2) Evaluation of a structural equation model of the key variables, and; (3) Testing the indirect effects of the key variables on emerging eating disorders via psychological distress. The key findings were that the hypothesised model of the key variables predicting emerging eating disorders had good fit to the data, all key predictors were statistically significant, and that psychological distress partially mediated the association between emerging eating disorders and early puberty, family problems and bullying. Longitudinal designs are needed to examine aetiology, but the present results are consistent with the possibility that family problems, early puberty, and bullying are associated with increased psychological distress and that psychological distress increases the risk of eating disorders. This research may be useful in guiding early intervention and prevention programs for at-risk adolescent girls.
Keyword Socio-emotional
Eating disorders
Adolescence

 
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Created: Wed, 16 Mar 2016, 14:19:22 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology