This study explored correlations between risk factors and eating behavior problems in late adolescent, non-clinical females (N = 301). Participants completed questionnaires for assessing eating problems, the closely associated factors of Body Mass Index (BMI) and body dissatisfaction, and a number of other risk variables that are thought to be involved in psychopathology in general, namely insecure attachment, low self-esteem, and negative affect (i.e., social anxiety and depression). Results indicated that high levels of eating problems were associated with high levels of insecure attachment, social anxiety, and depression, and with low levels of self-esteem. Further, regression analyses suggested that depression and self-esteem had a unique, direct relationship with eating problems, whereas insecure attachment and social anxiety only seemed to have indirect relations. The links between these general risk variables and eating behavior problems were independent from the specific eating problem correlates of BMI and body dissatisfaction.

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Journal of Adolescence
Department of Psychology

Mayer, B., Muris, P., Meesters, C., & Zimmermann-Van Beuningen, R. (2009). Direct and indirect relations of risk factors with eating behavior problems in late adolescent females. Journal of Adolescence, 32(3), 741–745. doi:10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.12.002