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Nutrients 2012, 4(4), 273-285; doi:10.3390/nu4040273

Disordered Eating among Preadolescent Boys and Girls: The Relationship with Child and Maternal Variables

* ,
Department of Applied Psychology, School of Psychology, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, Braga 4710, Portugal
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 February 2012 / Revised: 2 April 2012 / Accepted: 6 April 2012 / Published: 17 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maladaptive Eating Attitudes in Youth)
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Objective: (i) To analyze the eating behaviors and body satisfaction of boys and girls and to examine their mothers’ perceptions of these two domains; and (ii) to evaluate eating problem predictors using child body mass index (BMI), self-esteem, and body satisfaction as well as maternal BMI, eating problems, and satisfaction with their child’s body. The participants included 111 children (54.1% girls aged between 9 and 12 years old) and their mothers. Assessment measures included the Child Eating Attitude Test, the Self-Perception Profile for Children, the Eating Disorders Questionnaire, and the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire. Child and maternal measures also included BMI and Collins Figure Drawings. Results: (i) No association between child and maternal BMI for either sex was found; (ii) no difference was found between boys and girls with regard to eating behavior; (iii) most children revealed a preference for an ideal body image over their actual body image; (iv) most mothers preferred thinner bodies for their children; (v) greater BMI was related to higher body dissatisfaction; and (vi) child BMI and dissatisfaction with body image predicted eating disturbances in boys, whereas self-esteem, maternal BMI, and eating behavior predicted them in girls. Discussion: Maternal eating problems and BMI were related to female eating problems only.
Keywords: eating behavior; body dissatisfaction; gender differences eating behavior; body dissatisfaction; gender differences
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Gonçalves, S.; Silva, M.; Gomes, A.R.; Machado, P.P.P. Disordered Eating among Preadolescent Boys and Girls: The Relationship with Child and Maternal Variables. Nutrients 2012, 4, 273-285.

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