Are eating and psychosocial characteristics in early teenage years useful predictors of eating characteristics in early adulthood? A 7-year longitudinal study
Article first published online: 12 DEC 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 351–362, December 1998
How to Cite
Calam, R. and Waller, G. (1998), Are eating and psychosocial characteristics in early teenage years useful predictors of eating characteristics in early adulthood? A 7-year longitudinal study. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 24: 351–362. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1098-108X(199812)24:4<351::AID-EAT2>3.0.CO;2-1
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 1998
- Article first published online: 12 DEC 1998
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JUL 1997
- eating psychopathology;
- family function;
- prospective study
This longitudinal research aimed to determine the utility of psychosocial and eating characteristics in early teenage years in predicting eating attitudes and behaviors in early adulthood.
Self-esteem, perfectionism, family function, and eating attitudes were measured at 12 years and eating attitudes and behavior were assessed at 19 years. Sixty-three women (71.6%) remained in the study over the 7 years.
Bulimic attitudes in early teenage years were related to subsequent bulimic features, while restrictive attitudes were more closely related to later purging behaviors. Self-esteem and perfectionism were only weakly linked with subsequent eating. However, different perceived family characteristics at the first stage were associated with specific aspects of eating in early adulthood.
There is consistency of eating characteristics across time, but psychosocial characteristics have a more limited predictive power. Future longitudinal studies should begin earlier in childhood if psychosocial factors are to be useful predictors of eating psychopathology in adulthood. © 1998 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 24: 351–362, 1998.