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J Abnorm Psychol. 1995 Feb;104(1):140-9.

Prospective analysis of personality and behavioral vulnerabilities and gender influences in the later development of disordered eating.

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Department of Psychology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455.


This article presents the 2-year findings of a prospective investigation of the precursors to the later development of an eating disorder in adolescents. The sample consisted of 852 girls and 815 boys who began to study in Grades 7-10 and participated for 3 consecutive years. For both genders, the strongest predictors of Year 3 risk status were Years 1 and 2 risk scores. When the effects of Year 1 and Year 2 risk were controlled, race (Caucasian) and poor interoceptive awareness at Year 2 were significant predictors of disordered eating at Year 3 for girls. Previous risk status was the only significant predictor of Year 3 risk for boys. Gender difference evaluations in the risk score components indicated that a significantly greater proportion of girls than boys endorsed behaviors that were similar to eating disorder diagnostic criteria. Poor interoceptive awareness may provide a vulnerability for eating disorders; possible pathways were discussed.

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