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Int J Eat Disord. 2011 Sep;44(6):567-72. doi: 10.1002/eat.20882. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

Adolescent-adult discrepancies on the eating disorder examination: a function of developmental stage or severity of illness?

Author information

  • 1School of Psychology, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666, USA. loeb@fdu.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Across studies, adolescents score lower on measures of eating disorder pathology than adults, but it is unclear whether such findings reflect discrepancies inherent to site/study or true developmental differences. The aim of this study was to determine whether age predicts subscale and diagnostic scores of the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) in adolescents and adults with anorexia nervosa (AN) admitted to a single research center within the same period of time.

METHOD:

The sample consisted of 16 adolescent and 20 adult consecutive admissions to parallel, age-specific, research-based AN treatment programs. Participants completed a baseline evaluation at admission that included the EDE, depression measures, and global assessment of functioning scales.

RESULTS:

Age significantly predicted EDE scores in univariate regression analyses. However, in multivariate models that included severity indices of general and specific psychopathology as covariates, age was no longer a significant predictor of severity of eating disorder symptoms.

DISCUSSION:

This study adds to the growing body of data showing lower scores on the EDE for adolescents with AN relative to their adult counterparts, while eliminating potential site confounds. Results indicate that the higher adult scores may be carried in part by a more overall severe and chronic general clinical profile.

Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID:
21823141
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4117237
Free PMC Article
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