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Seeing yourself clearly: Self‐identification of a body image problem in adolescents with an eating disorder

Fatt, SJ, Mond, J ORCID: 0000-0002-0410-091X, Bussey, K, Griffiths, S, Murray, SB, Lonergan, A, Hay, P, Pike, K, Trompeter, N and Mitchison, D 2020 , 'Seeing yourself clearly: Self‐identification of a body image problem in adolescents with an eating disorder' , Early Intervention in Psychiatry , pp. 1-8 , doi: 10.1111/eip.12987.

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Aim: Many adolescents who meet diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder do not selfidentify as having a problem and may consequently be less likely to seek help. Extantresearch investigating self-identification has been limited to specific populations(ie, girls meeting criteria for bulimic-type eating disorders). This study investigated howself-identification varied across sex, eating disorder diagnoses, and the presence ofextreme eating behaviours, and how self-identification was related to help-seeking inadolescents.Methods: Participants included 1002 Australian school students (75.5% female,Mage = 15.14 years, SD = 1.40) who met DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder. An online survey assessed self-identification of having a body image problem,as well as sex, eating disorder diagnosis, extreme eating behaviours, help-seeking fora body image problem, and other potential correlates of self-identification (demographics, psychological distress, social function, weight and shape concerns).Results: Approximately, 2 in 3 adolescents with an eating disorder self-identified ashaving a body image problem. Girls who met criteria for a major eating disorder diagnosis, and those engaging in extreme eating behaviours, were more likely to selfidentify. When adjusting for covariates, only sex remained significantly associatedwith self-identification. Adolescents who self-identified were 2.71 times more likelyto seek help for a body image problem, adjusting for covariates.Conclusions: Public health strategies ought to promote awareness regarding the different ways that body image problems might manifest among both girls and boys, aswell as the potential gravity of such problems. Awareness among parents, teachersand primary care providers should also be considered.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Fatt, SJ and Mond, J and Bussey, K and Griffiths, S and Murray, SB and Lonergan, A and Hay, P and Pike, K and Trompeter, N and Mitchison, D
Keywords: adolescent, body image, early intervention, feeding and eating disorder, identification
Journal or Publication Title: Early Intervention in Psychiatry
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
ISSN: 1751-7893
DOI / ID Number: 10.1111/eip.12987
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd

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