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Nutrients. 2012 Apr;4(4):273-85. doi: 10.3390/nu4040273. Epub 2012 Apr 17.

Disordered eating among preadolescent boys and girls: the relationship with child and maternal variables.

Author information

1
Department of Applied Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal. sgoncalves@psi.uminho.pt

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

(i) To analyze the eating behaviors and body satisfaction of boys and girls and to examine their mothers' perceptions of these two domains; and (ii) to evaluate eating problem predictors using child body mass index (BMI), self-esteem, and body satisfaction as well as maternal BMI, eating problems, and satisfaction with their child's body. The participants included 111 children (54.1% girls aged between 9 and 12 years old) and their mothers. Assessment measures included the Child Eating Attitude Test, the Self-Perception Profile for Children, the Eating Disorders Questionnaire, and the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire. Child and maternal measures also included BMI and Collins Figure Drawings.

RESULTS:

(i) No association between child and maternal BMI for either sex was found; (ii) no difference was found between boys and girls with regard to eating behavior; (iii) most children revealed a preference for an ideal body image over their actual body image; (iv) most mothers preferred thinner bodies for their children; (v) greater BMI was related to higher body dissatisfaction; and (vi) child BMI and dissatisfaction with body image predicted eating disturbances in boys, whereas self-esteem, maternal BMI, and eating behavior predicted them in girls.

DISCUSSION:

Maternal eating problems and BMI were related to female eating problems only.

KEYWORDS:

body dissatisfaction; eating behavior; gender differences

PMID:
22606370
PMCID:
PMC3347008
DOI:
10.3390/nu4040273
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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