, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 213-230
Date: 15 Jul 2010

The Relation Between Eating- and Weight-Related Disturbances and Depression in Adolescence: A Review

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Depression often emerges during adolescence and persists into adulthood. Thus, it is critical to study risk factors that contribute to the development of depression in adolescence. One set of risk factors that has been recently studied in adolescent depression research is eating- and weight-related disturbances (EWRDs). EWRDs encompass negative cognitions related to one’s body or physical appearance, negative attitudes toward eating, and unhealthy weight control behaviors. However, there have been no comprehensive reviews of EWRDs and depression research that are contextualized within developmental frameworks of adolescent depression. Thus, this review will summarize research findings on the relation between EWRDs and depression in adolescence using a cognitive vulnerability developmental framework. First, a brief overview of epidemiological findings on depression is provided in order to highlight the importance of examining depression in adolescence. Second, a cognitive vulnerability developmental framework that can be used to conceptualize depression in adolescence is described. Next, theories and findings on EWRDs and depression in adolescence are summarized within this framework. Research limitations and suggestions for future research are provided. Finally, implications of this review related to the assessment, intervention, and prevention of depression in adolescence are provided.