Self-recognition of eating-disordered behavior in college women: further evidence of poor eating disorders "mental health literacy"?

Gratwick-Sarll, Kassandra, Mond, Jonathan, and Hay, Phillipa (2013) Self-recognition of eating-disordered behavior in college women: further evidence of poor eating disorders "mental health literacy"? Eating Disorders, 21 (4). pp. 310-327.

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Abstract

Self-recognition of eating-disordered behavior was examined among female college students (n = 94) with a high level of bulimic-type eating disorder symptoms. A vignette was presented describing a fictional young woman with bulimia nervosa. Participants were asked whether they might currently have a problem such as the one described, while also completing self-report measures of eating disorder symptoms, general psychological distress, and functional impairment. Less than half (47.9%) of participants believed that they currently had a problem with their eating. In both bivariate and multivariable analysis, the variables most strongly associated with self-recognition were overall levels of eating disorder psychopathology, prior treatment for an eating problem, and the use of self-induced vomiting as a means of controlling weight or shape. No other eating disorder behaviors were independently associated with self-recognition. The findings support the hypothesis that young women with eating disorder symptoms may be unlikely, or at least less likely, to recognize a problem with their eating behavior when that behavior does not entail self-induced vomiting. Health promotion and early intervention programs for eating disorders may need to address the perception that, among young women of normal or above-average body weight, only problems with eating that involve self-induced vomiting are pathological.

Item ID: 27794
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1532-530X
Funders: Australian Rotary Health Research Fund
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2013 02:10
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920411 Nutrition @ 100%
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