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Adolescents' perception of the severity of binge eating disorder: a population-based study


Anderson, R and Gratwick-Sarll, K and Bentley, C and Harrison, C and Mond, J, Adolescents' perception of the severity of binge eating disorder: a population-based study, Journal of mental health, 25, (1) pp. 16-22. ISSN 0963-8237 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

DOI: doi:10.3109/09638237.2015.1057329


BACKGROUND: Binge eating disorder (BED) is relatively common in young people and is associated with marked impairment in physical and mental health.

AIMS: We examined perceptions of the severity of BED in a population-based sample of adolescents.

METHODS: Male (n = 531) and female (n = 1135) adolescents recruited from 12 Australian schools completed a survey that featured a vignette of a fictional female school student suffering from BED followed by a series of questions addressing perceptions of severity.

RESULTS: Approximately half of participants agreed or strongly agreed that BED is a serious problem (male: 52.0%; female: 63.2%) requiring professional treatment (male: 48.2%; female: 54.5%). Approximately one-third of boys (30.7%) believed that BED is primarily a problem of "lack of will power/self-control", whereas one in five girls (19.3%) held this view. Less than half of participants (male: 42.7%; female: 44.1%) believed that someone with BED would be deserving of sympathy.

CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that many adolescents, boys in particular, do not consider BED to be a serious mental health problem and believe that individuals with BED lack will-power and/or are undeserving of sympathy. Awareness and understanding of BED may need to be addressed in school-based mental health promotion programs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Adolescents; binge eating disorder; mental health literature; severity
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Mond, J (Dr Jon Mond)
ID Code:111989
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:7
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2016-10-18
Last Modified:2017-11-03

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