Body dissatisfaction and eating disturbances in early adolescence

a structural modeling investigation examining negative affect and peer factors

Delyse M. Hutchinson, Ronald M. Rapee, Alan Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)


This study tested five proposed models of the relationship of negative affect and peer factors in early adolescent body dissatisfaction, dieting, and bulimic behaviors. A large community sample of girls in early adolescence was assessed via questionnaire (X age = 12.3 years). Structural equation modeling (SEM) indicated that negative affect mediated the relationship between body dissatisfaction and bulimic behaviors. Body dissatisfaction also contributed independently to the concurrent prediction of bulimic behaviors. The proposed pathways from dieting to negative affect and dieting to bulimic behaviors were not supported. However, perceived peer influence, perceived weight-related teasing, and the self-reported eating behaviors of friendship clique members all contributed significantly to the concurrent prediction of individual eating pathology. These findings highlight the importance of negative affect and both perceived and actual peer attitudes and behaviors in early adolescent eating pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-517
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Early Adolescence
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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