A bulimic episode during adolescence appears to be a risk factor for chronic eating disorders, yet little is known about the prevalence or psychosocial correlates of bulimia in this age group. The prevalence of bulimia was determined in a geographically, racially, and economically diverse sample of 1,373 high school boys and girls. In addition to DSM‐III criteria, a minimum binge‐eating frequency of once per month was employed. For bulimia, with purging, a minimum purging frequency of once per month was employed. Bulimia was identified in 9.6% of girls (with purging, 2.2%; without purging, 7.4%) and in 1.2% of boys (with purging, 0.1%; without purging, 1.1%). The two subtypes of bulimia subjects were demographically and psychologically equivalent. Bulimia subjects (combined) did not differ from normals on race, age, or SES. Bulimics exhibited more negative body image, negative self‐esteem, social anxiety, and depression than normals. In the total sample of students, general eating disorder symptomatology was predicted by measures of body image, depression, and social anxiety in girls and by body image and depression in boys.
International Journal of Eating Disorders – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1988
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