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J Adolesc Health. 2005 Mar;36(3):214-20.

Prevalence of eating disorders in Latina adolescents: associations with substance use and other correlates.

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  • 1Psychology Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.



To estimate the occurrence and correlates of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa-related symptoms in a Latina sample of U.S. adolescents.


Approximately 1866 Latinas ranging in age from 11-20 years old are included in this study. These adolescents are a sub-sample from the National Longitudinal Survey on Adolescent Health. Along with self-reports of eating disorder-related variables, we measured related biological, contextual, behavioral, and psychosocial correlates, including use of various substances.


Chi-square analysis showed the prevalence in all Latina sub-groups was relatively consistent with the U.S. trends. Latinas of higher socioeconomic status were more at risk for eating disorders. Body dissatisfaction, negative affectivity, substance use, and low self-esteem were all positively correlated with eating disorder symptoms. These results suggest screening and treatment services are needed across groups of Latina adolescents.

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