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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) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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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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