Chronological Progression of Body Dissatisfaction and Drive for Thinness In Females 12 to 17 Years of Age
Lauren E. Jones, Ellen Buckner, Renée Miller
The purpose of this secondary study of cross-sectional data was to examine patterns of scores on the Eating Disorders Inventory in a healthy sample of female adolescents thought to have a high potential for risk. Data were obtained as part of a consultation to identify risk of developing eating disorders. The screening and subsequent group level analysis was carried out with 44 female dancers 12 to 17 years of age enrolled in grades 7 to 12 in a Magnet® school. This secondary analysis examined three components of the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI- 3): body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, and bulimia for the purpose of comparing group findings across ages and grades. Some level of body dissatisfaction was widespread in the population. body dissatisfaction increased beginning notably at age 14 and increased sharply at age 15, with further increases until age 16. The correlation between body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness was shown to be statistically significant (r = 0.83, p < 0.001). Awareness that body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness increase at ages 15 and 16 means disordered eating may begin at this time. If body dissatisfaction and drive for thinness begins early in life and markedly increases at ages 14 and 15, eating disorder prevention must begin in childhood and continue into adolescence.