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Beliefs of adolescent girls concerning the severity and prevalence of bulimia nervosa


Mond, JM and Marks, P, Beliefs of adolescent girls concerning the severity and prevalence of bulimia nervosa, Australian Journal of Psychology, 59, (2) pp. 87-93. ISSN 0004-9530 (2007) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright The Australian Psychological Society Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1080/00049530601148413


The beliefs of adolescent girls concerning an eating disorder problem were investigated. A vignette describing a fictional 16- year-old girl meeting diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa (BN) was presented to 522 high school students, followed by a series of questions concerning the severity and prevalence of the problem described. Most respondents believed that BN is a serious problem whose sufferers are deserving of sympathy. However, BN was perceived to be common among adolescent girls, far more common than estimates from epidemiological research would suggest, and many participants had at some stage thought that it ‘‘might not be too bad’’ to have such a problem. In addition, participants with a high level of eating disorder symptoms considered the prevalence of BN to be higher, and its symptoms more acceptable, than asymptomatic participants. These findings suggest that the perception of bulimic behaviours as normative and/or desirable may need to be addressed in prevention programs.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Adolescents, Bulimia nervosa
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, JM (Dr Jon Mond)
ID Code:117959
Year Published:2007
Web of Science® Times Cited:11
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2017-06-29
Last Modified:2017-09-18

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