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Negative Body Image and Disordered Eating Behavior in Children and Adolescents: What Places Youth at Risk and How Can These Problems be Prevented?

Abstract

In this review, we examine the prevalence of negative body image and disordered eating behaviors (i.e., excessive dieting, binge eating, inappropriate weight loss techniques) in children and adolescents. We also explore correlates and predictors of the development of these problems, including individual, familial, and social factors, as well as discuss factors that may serve a protective function. In addition, we critically evaluate the psychoeducational programs that have been developed to prevent the onset of these problems and reduce the severity of symptoms in children and adolescents. Moreover, we suggest several possible strategies for how such prevention programs can be modified to enhance their efficacy. Finally, likely moderator and mediator variables of the effectiveness of such programs are proposed.

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Littleton, H.L., Ollendick, T. Negative Body Image and Disordered Eating Behavior in Children and Adolescents: What Places Youth at Risk and How Can These Problems be Prevented?. Clin Child Fam Psychol Rev 6, 51–66 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022266017046

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  • eating disorders
  • body dissatisfaction
  • prevention
  • childhood
  • adolescence