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J Abnorm Psychol. 2008 Feb;117(1):225-35. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.117.1.225.

Eating pathology among adolescent girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4400, USA.


The authors investigated prospectively assessed eating pathology (body image dissatisfaction and bulimia nervosa symptoms) among an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of adolescent girls with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-combined type (ADHD-C; n=93), ADHD-inattentive type (ADHD-I; n=47), and a comparison group (n=88). The sample, initially ages 6-12 years, participated in a 5-year longitudinal study (92% retention rate). After statistical control of relevant covariates, girls with ADHD-C at baseline showed more eating pathology at follow-up than did comparison girls; girls with ADHD-I were intermediate between these two groups. Baseline impulsivity symptoms, as opposed to hyperactivity and inattention, best predicted adolescent eating pathology. With statistical control of ADHD, baseline peer rejection and parent- child relationship problems also predicted adolescent eating pathology. The association between punitive parenting in childhood and pathological eating behaviors in adolescence was stronger for girls with ADHD than for comparison girls. Results are discussed in terms of the expansion of longitudinal research on ADHD to include female-relevant domains of impairment, such as eating pathology.

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