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Int J Eat Disord. 2003 Apr;33(3):320-32.

A longitudinal examination of patterns in girls' weight concerns and body dissatisfaction from ages 5 to 9 years.

Author information

  • 1Department of Human Development and Family Studies, The Pennsylvania State University, S-110 Henderson Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA. kdavison@psu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the development of girls' weight concerns and body dissatisfaction from ages 5 to 9 years and how change and continuity in these constructs from age 5 to 7 years is associated with girls' eating attitudes, dietary restraint, and dieting status at age 9.

METHODS:

Weight concerns, body dissatisfaction, and weight status were assessed for 182 girls when they were 5, 7, and 9 years old, and their eating attitudes, dietary restraint, and dieting status were assessed when they were 9.

RESULTS:

Girls tended to maintain their rank in weight concerns and body dissatisfaction across ages 5 to 9 years, and associations among girls' weight concerns, body dissatisfaction, and weight status increased with age. In addition, positive associations were found between changes in girls' weight concerns, body dissatisfaction, and weight status across ages 7 to 9. Finally, girls' who reported high weight concerns or high body dissatisfaction across ages 5 to 7 reported higher dietary restraint, more maladaptive eating attitudes, and a greater likelihood of dieting at age 9, independent of their weight status.

CONCLUSION:

Girls' reported weight concerns and body dissatisfaction across middle childhood showed consistency over time, were systematically related to their weight status, and predicted their dietary restraint, eating attitudes, and the likelihood of dieting at age 9. These results reflect patterns identified among adolescent girls and women.

Copyright 2003 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID:
12655629
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2548285
Free PMC Article
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