A Cross-Cultural Examination of Weight-Related Teasing, Body Image, and Eating Disturbance in Swedish and Australian Samples

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body image, eating disturbance, teasing, path analysis

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Objective: To evaluate, cross‐culturally, a model for the prediction of eating disturbance from factors such as body image disturbance, negative verbal feedback regarding appearance (teasing), and body mass index (BMI).

Methods: Three samples of adolescent girls from Sweden (Grade 8: n = 260; mean age = 14.3) and Australia (Grade 7: n = 159; mean age = 12.8 and Grade 8: n = 210; mean age = 13.7) completed two measures of eating restraint and one scale each reflective of bulimic symptomatology, teasing history, and body dissatisfaction.

Results: Path analyses revealed that BMI predicted teasing and body dissatisfaction, and body dissatisfaction predicted level of eating restraint. In all three samples, there was evidence of partial mediation by teasing of the connection between BMI and restraint.

Discussion: The results partially replicate previous work with U.S. samples. The findings are discussed with regard to the need for further cross‐cultural work and its relevance for identifying factors for early intervention and prevention programs.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

International Journal of Eating Disorders, v. 28, issue 4, p. 430-435