Co-occurring eating and depressive problems: An 8-year study of adolescent girls

Authors

  • Julia A. Graber,

    Corresponding author
    1. Center for Children and Families, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York
    • Center for Children and Families, P.O. Box 39, Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 W. 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
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  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

    1. Center for Children and Families, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, New York
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Abstract

Objective

This paper examines prospectively the co-occurrence of eating and depressive problems in 105 White girls who were seen at three times from young adolescence to young adulthood.

Method

Girls were from middle to upper-middle class families. Co-occurrence of eating and depressive problems was determined cross-sectionally from questionnaire data using established criteria for identifying subclinical problems.

Results

The rate of depressive problems declines across middle to late adolescence while the rate of eating problems is fairly constant across all three times of assessment. Analyses suggest that girls with depressive problems (with and without co-occurring eating problems) experience impairments in peer and family relationships; girls with high scores on both problems have poor adjustment across several domains.

Discussion

The additional psychological strains seen with co-occurrence of eating and depressive problems heighten physical and mental health concomitants of both problems across adolescence. © 2001 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 30: 37–47, 2001.

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