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Percept Mot Skills. 1998 Feb;86(1):139-45.

A mediational model of social physique anxiety and eating disordered behaviors.

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Department of Physical Education, Southern Utah University, Cedar City 84720, USA.


In the present study correlations among scores on social physique anxiety, social behavior inhibition, and eating disordered behaviors and traits were hypothesized on the basis that social physique anxiety would be correlated with personality disturbances associated with eating disorders and mediated by social inhibition and eating disordered behaviors. Subjects were 79 college-aged women (M age = 19.5 yr.), who completed the Garner's Eating Disorders Inventory, the Social Physique Anxiety Scale, and a measure of social behavior inhibition developed for this study. A mediational path analysis showed scores on social physique anxiety significantly moderately related to scores for eating disordered traits, mediated by scores on eating disordered behavior. These correlations account for 14 to 31% of the common variance, and with clinical research, support the assumption that eating-disordered behavior may begin with milder symptomatology such as high scores on social physique anxiety. Longitudinal research is required to assess the proposed causal relationship between identification of early symptoms and later eating disorders; however, present research suggests early intervention with women at risk may be useful.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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