Familial, sociocultural, and individual predictors of eating -disorder symptoms in late elementary and middle -school girls

Ana Diaz-Zubieta, Fordham University

Abstract

This study examined the relationships among a set of familial, sociocultural, and individual characteristics to eating-disorder symptoms in Hispanic American girls ages 9 to 15. The factors of interest included mother-daughter conflict, father-daughter conflict, parent concern with thinness, weight-related teasing from family, weight-related teasing from peers, weight-related peer conversations and comparisons between girls, perception of weight influence on peer likability with boys, perception of weight influence on peer likability with girls, thin-ideal internalization, and ineffectiveness. The primary eating-disorder symptoms of interest in this study included excessive dieting behaviors and attitudes, bingeing and/or purging, and poor body image. These symptoms have been identified as the key symptoms in subclinical eating disturbances in child and adolescent populations. The Eating Disorder Inventory for Children, the Conflict Behavior Questionnaire, the McKnight Risk Factor Survey-IV, the Inventory of Peer Influence on Eating Concerns, and the Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire were used to test the hypotheses that the familial, sociocultural, and individual factors of interest in the current study would be correlated with eating-disorder symptoms. All factors, with the exception of father-daughter conflict, were found to correlate significantly with eating-disorder symptoms. Furthermore, a simultaneous regression analysis of eating-disorder symptoms revealed that the unique contributions of parent concern with thinness, weight-related teasing from family, weight-related conversations and comparisons between girls, perception of weight influence on peer likability with boys, and ineffectiveness reached significance. Partial mediating effects were found when regression analyses were used to explore the mediating effects of thin-ideal internalization on parent concern with thinness, weight-related teasing from family, weight-related conversations and comparisons between girls, perception of weight influence on peer likability with boys, and perception of weight influence on peer likability with girls in predicting eating-disorder symptoms. Partial mediating effects were found when the mediating effect of ineffectiveness on mother-daughter conflict in predicting eating-disorder symptoms was explored. In addition, ineffectiveness was found to moderate the relationship between thin-ideal internalization and eating-disorder symptoms. Implications for future research, eating-disorder prevention programs, and clinical practice are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies

Recommended Citation

Ana Diaz-Zubieta, "Familial, sociocultural, and individual predictors of eating -disorder symptoms in late elementary and middle -school girls" (January 1, 2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3169399.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3169399

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