Anorexia nervosa in male adolescents: Body image, eating attitude, and psychological traits

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, Institute of Neurosciences, Hospital Clinic Universitari of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.
Journal of Adolescent Health (Impact Factor: 3.61). 04/2005; 36(3):221-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.02.039
Source: PubMed


To evaluate body image and its relationship with psychological and behavioral traits associated with anorexia nervosa in male patients.
Thirty male adolescents with anorexia nervosa (AN) were compared with 421 male adolescents from the general population. Body image was evaluated with the Subjective Body Dimensions Apparatus. Eating attitudes were evaluated by the Eating Attitudes Test in its 26-item version (EAT-26). In 19 AN patients and 200 boys from the comparison group, the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI) was also administered.
AN patients had higher mean scores in the EAT-26 and the Body Dissatisfaction scale on the EDI, but not on the other EDI scales. Both groups overestimated all parts of their bodies but AN patients presented a greater overestimation of shoulders (p = .007), hips (p = .01) and thighs (p = .019). Correlations in the anorexic group were high and negative between body overestimation and body mass index and also high but positive between overestimation and the EAT and the Drive for Thinness scale on the EDI. Overestimation did not correlate significantly with other EDI scales.
Male patients with anorexia nervosa overestimate some parts of their bodies more often than controls; this overestimation is related to body mass index, abnormal eating attitudes and drive for thinness, but not to other psychological traits evaluated by the EDI.

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    • "However, most research about ED in adolescents has studied girls, and very few studies have focused exclusively on boys [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]. Adolescence is a critical period for these pathologic conditions , because of pubertal changes and psychological turmoil [9]. "
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