School counselors’ knowledge of eating disorders

  • J. L. Harshbarger
  • C. R. Ahlers-Schmidt
  • M. Atif
  • E. Allred
  • M. Carroll
  • R. Hauser
Brief Report

DOI: 10.1007/BF03325319

Cite this article as:
Harshbarger, J.L., Ahlers-Schmidt, C.R., Atif, M. et al. Eat Weight Disord (2011) 16: e131. doi:10.1007/BF03325319
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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Twenty years ago, Price published a survey identifying knowledge deficits of school counselors regarding eating disorders. Our study surveys current school counselors to determine whether knowledge has increased and determine the availability of school-based prevention programming. METHODS: School counselors from a single metropolitan area were surveyed prior to a mandatory in-service on eating disorders. RESULTS: Of the 109 respondents, 55% felt eating disorders were a problem in their school. Very few felt “very competent” identifying (6%) or helping (2%) students with eating disorders. Today’s school counselors were more likely to know a symptom of anorexia nervosa (AN) is missing at least three consecutive menstrual cycles and malnutrition is not a common cause of death for bulimia nervosa (BN). CONCLUSIONS: While knowledge of AN and BN appear to have increased, school counselors still lack some basic understanding and report very low confidence in identifying and helping students with eating disorders.

Key words

Eating Disorders anorexia nervosa bulimia nervosa school counselor prevention 

Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. L. Harshbarger
    • 1
  • C. R. Ahlers-Schmidt
    • 2
  • M. Atif
    • 2
  • E. Allred
    • 3
  • M. Carroll
    • 3
  • R. Hauser
    • 3
  1. 1.Redfern Health Center, Counseling and Psychological ServicesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsUniversity of Kansas School of MedicineUSA
  3. 3.University of Kansas School of Medicine-WichitaWichitaUSA

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