Anorexia nervosa in Asian-American adolescents: Do they differ from their non-Asian peers




This study reports on the clinical characteristics and phenomenology of anorexia nervosa (AN) in Asian-American adolescents, and compares them with a non-Asian sample.


Data were obtained from a family therapy trial for adolescents with AN. Demographic details were collected and participants assessed on a series of structured interviews. Data from Asian participants were compared with that from non-Asians.


Asians scored lower on all the Eating Disorder Examination (EDE) subscales, significantly on the restraint subscale (1.48 vs. 2.80, p = 0.016) and weight concerns subscale (1.35 vs. 2.30, p = 0.026). They also scored higher on the Family Environment Scale achievement orientation subscale (6.50 vs. 4.81, p = 0.011).


Asians are demographically similar to their non-Asian peers but tend to come from higher-income families who were more achievement oriented. EDE scores suggest Asians tend to report fewer symptoms. The apparent lack of fat-phobia among Asians could be related to this overall under-reporting of symptoms. © 2007 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2007