Eating Disorder Behaviors Among Adolescents

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The purpose of this study was to examine the currency of eating disorder’s behaviors among adolescents. The study chose to focus on gender, and ethnicity by classifying adolescents by their specific risk and protective factors.

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This study took place with a Minnesota Student Survey in 1998. The study was experimented to describe the issue throughout the population based off sample of adolescents for female and males with eating disorders.

Also, to figure out both psychosocial and behavioral leads that could be potential risk and protective factors. The researcher’s, method was to give the study population including all eighty-one thousand and two hundred and forty-seven adolescents a survey with questions about disorder eating. The survey was only administered to ninth – twelve graders. They chose that group because they would know more, and most likely take it seriously then a younger group. The survey is issued every three years to see a difference in results and to come to come up with a new study. Students not just in high school but also the ones including alternative schools, learning centers, and those in school through the juvenile justice system or any type of emotional or behavioral issues were included as well. The survey is designed to focus on high-risk behaviors and the known factors that are related to them. The questions came from other large scales that were normal questions and relatable to adolescents. Those questions were associated with: The Adolescent Health Survey 26, The National Institute on Drug Abuse Monitoring the Future Survey 32, and the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Some of the questions where about school performance, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional distress, antisocial behavior etc. The study findings showed that low self- esteem and emotional well-being along with cigarettes and alcohol are associated with disordered eating.

In addition to appearance concerns, alcohol use was a significant risk factor. Especially for all but the Asian, and black females. But instead, cigarette use was the risk factor for black and Asian females. Also, that families that have a strong connection for doing well in school are over protective. Those protective families will really step in when that someone is showing strong signs of low self-esteem, their emotional wellbeing, and having no social support. American Indian females’ families showed over protectiveness not giving them a chance to have an eating disorder. American Indian men had different profiles of risk with only emotional well- being as their protective factor. Also, ethnicity appearance worries remained a significant risk factor associated with disordered eating, and high emotional well-being which was a common protective factor.

The study also found that female youth who reported higher levels of peer support had a higher prevalence of disorder eating. Researchers found that males who relate to school and their peers are more comfortable with themselves emotionally and physically which decreases their chances of resorting to disorder eating practices. Researchers did come across a few implications. They wanted to note to put in more detailed measures of the behaviors to understand more clearly understanding of all ethnic groups. The study highlights the need for professionals to be aware of the high risk and factors that could possibly lead to eating disorders.

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Eating Disorder Behaviors Among Adolescents. (2021, Apr 27). Retrieved from