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Anales de Psicología

On-line version ISSN 1695-2294Print version ISSN 0212-9728

Abstract

CRUZ-SAEZ, María S.; PASCUAL, Aitziber; ETXEBARRIA, Itziar  and  ECHEBURUA, Enrique. Risk of eating disorders, consumption of addictive substances and emotional difficulties in adolescent girls. Anal. Psicol. [online]. 2013, vol.29, n.3, pp.724-733. ISSN 1695-2294.  http://dx.doi.org/10.6018/analesps.29.3.151041.

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of risk of developing eating disorders in a sample of 767 adolescent girls aged between 16 and 20, and to study the differences between adolescent girls at high risk and low risk of developing eating disorders in relation to different variables (sociodemographic, anthropometric, body image perception, overvaluation of thinness, substance consumption, alexithymia and anxiety). The prevalence of adolescent girls at high risk was found to be 15%. The results revealed that weight, BMI, body image perception and overvaluation of thinness were key factors in adolescent girls at high risk of developing eating disorders. Also, a higher percentage of at high risk adolescent girls smoked, had tried synthetic drugs and started drinking alcohol at a younger age. Higher levels of alexithymia and anxiety were also found in at-risk adolescents. These results suggest that, in addition to nutritional education and information about the effects of internalizing the thin ideal on adolescent personalities, eating disorders prevention programs should also include techniques for expressing and regulating emotions, in order to prevent young girls from turning to inappropriate weight and body image control behaviors.

Keywords : risk of eating disorders; substance consumption; alexithymia; anxiety; adolescence.

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