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Eat Behav. 2014 Aug;15(3):434-40. doi: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2014.04.018. Epub 2014 May 12.

Relationship between depressive mood and eating disorders in a non-clinical young female sample: a one-year longitudinal analysis of cross-lagged and simultaneous effects.

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  • 1University of Paris Descartes, France. Electronic address: emilie.boujut@parisdescartes.fr.
  • 2University of Bordeaux, France.


Although it is generally agreed that eating disorders (EDs) and depressive mood (DM) are related, the main ambiguity arises from difficulties in determining their cause-effect relationships. The aim of this study was to examine the longitudinal reciprocal causation between EDs and DM among female students. Several models (cross-lagged effects and simultaneous effects) were tested in order to disentangle the prospective relationships between DM (measured by the Beck Depression Inventory-Short Form) and EDs (measured by the Eating Attitudes Test-26) using structural equation modeling with latent variables on one-year longitudinal data. A total of 567 female students were interviewed at the beginning of the first university year (T1); 373 of them were re-interviewed 6 months later (T2), and 359 were re-interviewed after a further 6 months (T3). The results support (1) the prospective reciprocal effects model and (2) the simultaneous reciprocal effects model. The implications of the findings in terms of theoretical improvements and effective treatments are discussed.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Depression; Eating disorders; Female students; Longitudinal survey

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