Publication
Title
Eating disorder symptomatology and identity formation in adolescence : a cross-lagged longitudinal approach
Author
Abstract
Introduction: Eating disorder symptomatology, comprising both psychological and behavioral aspects of subclinical eating concerns, constitutes a clear precursor of developing eating disorders. It is crucial to investigate its antecedents and correlates to subsequently inform eating disorder prevention programs. The present study focused on identity formation, a core developmental task in adolescence, that has increasingly been linked to eating disorder development. Our main aim was to examine the temporal sequence between eating disorder symptomatology and identity formation. Methods: Data on eating disorder symptomatology and identity formation were collected in 530 high school students (at Time 1: mean age = 15 years; SD = 1.84; range: 12-18 years; 50.6% females) using self-report questionnaires at three annual measurement points. Cross-lagged structural equation modeling was performed to examine the directionality of effects. Results: Results indicated bidirectional effects between eating disorder symptomatology and identity formation. Identity confusion seemed to increase vulnerability to body dissatisfaction and bulimia symptoms, whereas identity synthesis seemed to protect against their development. Additionally, identity synthesis seemed to protect against the development of drive for thinness as well. At the same time, body dissatisfaction and bulimia symptoms positively predicted identity confusion and negatively predicted identity synthesis over time. Conclusion: The present study adds to the growing body of literature on identity and eating disorders by focusing on their temporal interplay in a community sample of adolescents. As bidirectional effects emerged, a greater emphasis on identity formation in eating disorder prevention programs is advocated.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Frontiers in psychology. - Pully, Switzerland, 2010, currens
Publication
Pully, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation , 2018
ISSN
1664-1078
Volume/pages
9 (2018) , 11 p.
Article Reference
816
ISI
000434055000001
Pubmed ID
29915548
Medium
E-only publicatie
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.07.2018
Last edited 16.10.2021
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