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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 Jun;26(6):691-701. doi: 10.1007/s00787-016-0935-1. Epub 2017 Jan 3.

Identifying disordered eating behaviours in adolescents: how do parent and adolescent reports differ by sex and age?

Author information

1
Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK. savani.bartholdy@kcl.ac.uk.
2
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
3
Department of Biostatistics, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
4
Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
5
Section of Eating Disorders, Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
6
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Square J5, 68159, Mannheim, Germany.
7
Discipline of Psychiatry, School of Medicine and Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
8
University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf, House W34, 3.OG, Martinistr. 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.
9
Medical Research Council-Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
10
Department of Psychiatry, Université de Montréal, CHU Ste Justine Hospital, Quebec, Canada.
11
Department of Psychological Medicine and Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.
12
Department of Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience, Central Institute of Mental Health, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Square J5, Mannheim, Germany.
13
Neurospin, Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique, CEA-Saclay Center, Paris, France.
14
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), Martinistrasse 52, 20246, Hamburg, Germany.
15
Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, 05405, USA.
16
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Campus Charité Mitte, Charité, Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Charitéplatz 1, Berlin, Germany.
17
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), Abbestr. 2-12, Berlin, Germany.
18
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, INSERM Unit 1000 "Neuroimaging & Psychiatry", University Paris Sud, University Paris Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité, Paris, France.
19
Maison de Solenn, Paris, France.
20
Psychiatry Department 91G16, Orsay Hospital, Orsay, France.
21
Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest and Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, M6A 2E1, Canada.
22
Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
23
Department of Psychiatry and Neuroimaging Center, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany.
24
Department of Psychology, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.

Abstract

This study investigated the prevalence of disordered eating cognitions and behaviours across mid-adolescence in a large European sample, and explored the extent to which prevalence ratings were affected by informant (parent/adolescent), or the sex or age of the adolescent. The Development and Well-Being Assessment was completed by parent-adolescent dyads at age 14 (n = 2225) and again at age 16 (n = 1607) to explore the prevalence of 7 eating disorder symptoms (binge eating, purging, fear of weight gain, distress over shape/weight, avoidance of fattening foods, food restriction, and exercise for weight loss). Informant agreement was assessed using kappa coefficients. Generalised estimating equations were performed to explore the impact of age, sex and informant on symptom prevalence. Slight to fair agreement was observed between parent and adolescent reports (kappa estimates between 0.045 and 0.318); however, this was largely driven by agreement on the absence of behaviours. Disordered eating behaviours were more consistently endorsed amongst girls compared to boys (odds ratios: 2.96-5.90) and by adolescents compared to their parents (odds ratios: 2.71-9.05). Our data are consistent with previous findings in epidemiological studies. The findings suggest that sex-related differences in the prevalence of disordered eating behaviour are established by mid-adolescence. The greater prevalence rates obtained from adolescent compared to parent reports may be due to the secretive nature of the behaviours and/or lack of awareness by parents. If adolescent reports are overlooked, the disordered behaviour may have a greater opportunity to become more entrenched.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent; Eating disorders; Epidemiology; Parent

PMID:
28050706
PMCID:
PMC5446550
DOI:
10.1007/s00787-016-0935-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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