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Eating-disordered behavior in adolescent boys: Eating disorder examination questionnaire norms

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ABSTRACT

Objective

We sought to provide normative data for the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) for adolescent boys.

Method

The EDE-Q was completed by 531 boys aged 12–18 years recruited from a number of schools in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region of Australia. Data for 1,135 female adolescents, recruited as part of the same research project, are provided for comparative purposes.

Results

Scores on each the EDE-Q subscales and, with the exception of excessive exercise, the prevalence of each of the eating disorder behaviors assessed, were substantially higher among girls than among boys. Still, 6.0% of boys reported regular episodes of objective binge eating, 8.3% reported regular episodes of loss of control eating, 5.3% reported regular excessive exercise and 4.9% reported overvaluation of weight or shape. Eating-disordered behavior was more common among older adolescents than among younger adolescents and this was the case for both boys and girls. Reliability coefficients for the EDE-Q subscales were marginally lower in boys (0.70–0.94) than in girls (0.84–0.97).

Conclusions

The EDE-Q appears to be suitable for use in adolescent boys, with the qualification that eating and weight/shape control behaviors that are largely confined to males may not be adequately assessed. The lack of assessment of subjective binge eating episodes may also be problematic. There is a need for research addressing whether and to what extent different features are associated with distress and disability in boys as well as the validity of the EDE-Q assessment of these features when compared with interview assessment. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:335–341)

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