The purpose of this study was to explore a hypothetical link between the development of bulimic eating behavior and the suppression of masculine traits in adolescence. Discrepancies between the actual and the ideal self were examined as precursors of negative self-evaluation and binge–purge behavior. Using the Bem Sex-Role Inventory (Bem, 1974), 821 German students between the ages of 13 and 20 were questioned anonymously. Data were analyzed with structural equation modeling. For girls in contrast to boys, the discrepancy between how much adolescents believed that they possess masculine traits (actual self) and how much they would like to (ideal self) was significantly greater at older ages. For both sexes, gender-related self-discrepancies were related to bulimic symptoms indirectly, via self-esteem and dieting.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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