Abnormal psychosocial situations and eating disorders in adolescence

Netta Horesh, Alan Apter, Jo Ishai, Yardena Danziger, Mario Miculincer, Daniel Stein, Eli Lepkifker, Marc Minouni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the relationship between abnormal psychosocial situations and eating disorders in adolescents. Method: Twenty girls with eating disorders, 20 girls with major psychiatric conditions, and 20 healthy controls took part in the study. They were interviewed using a semistructured interview designed by the World Health Organization to diagnose the psychosocial situations included in the International Classification of Disease Axis 5 classification for child and adolescent psychiatry. All subjects were also given the Eating Attitudes Test. Results: Many life events and psychosocial adversities differentiated significantly between the patients and controls. Inappropriate parental pressure was specific only for the subjects with eating disorders compared with the other psychiatric patients. In addition, Eating Attitudes Test scores correlated significantly with hostility toward child, sibling disability, parental overprotection, inappropriate parental pressures, and negative changes in family relationships. Conclusion: These results support the growing literature on the interrelationship between disordered family relationships and eating disorders. They point the way for developing treatment programs dealing with these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-927
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1996


  • adolescence
  • eating disorders
  • life events


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