Psychosocial Predictors of Eating Disorder Risk in Overweight and Obese Treatment-Seeking Adolescents Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThis study explored eating disorder risk factors and possible psychosocial predictors of this risk in overweight and obese treatment-seeking adolescents. Prior to commencing treatment 108 overweight and obese adolescents aged 11 to 17 years (M = 14.31, SD = 1.57; 55% female) completed self-report measures of psychosocial factors. Females reported elevated levels of bulimic tendencies, body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness (p ≤.001) and males reported elevated body dissatisfaction (p < .001). Age, sex and BMI-for-age z-score explained 15% (p < .001) of the variance in eating disorder risk and psychosocial predictors an additional 25%. Sex did not have a moderating effect on these relationships (p = .21). Among overweight and obese treatment-seeking adolescents, those experiencing lower self-esteem and elevated depression and anxiety symptomatology are at increased eating disorder risk. This highlights the need to consider psychosocial factors in preventing and treating overweight and obesity.


  • Russo, Jade V
  • Brennan, Leah
  • Walkley, Jeff
  • Fraser, Steve F
  • Greenway, Kate

publication date

  • September 1, 2011