Depression as a Moderator of Sociocultural Influences on Eating Disorder Symptoms in Adolescent Females and Males Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to explore the role of depression as a moderator of sociocultural influences on eating disorder symptoms. A sample of 509 adolescents (56% female) completed self-report questionnaires assessing depression, body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, bulimic symptoms and sociocultural influences on appearance from family, peers and the media. Both girls and boys displaying high levels of depressive symptoms perceived stronger media and peer influences on appearance. Among girls, eating disorder symptoms were directly affected by sociocultural influences, in particular media influences, as well as by depression. However, depression played only a limited role as a moderator of these relationships. Among boys, sociocultural influences and depression revealed fewer direct effects on eating disorder symptoms. However, depression had a greater moderating effect on these relationships. Future research into the role of depression may increase the understanding of gender differences in body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness and bulimic symptoms.

publication date

  • April 2010

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