Weight perceptions, disordered eating behaviors, and emotional self-efficacy among high school adolescents.Eat Behav 2016; 21:1-6EB
Although emotional disorders and disordered eating behaviors are known to be related, the relationship between emotional self-efficacy (ESE) and disordered eating is unknown. This study examined the relationship between ESE and disordered eating in a statewide sample of public high school adolescents (n=2566). The Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey and an adolescent ESE scale were utilized. Logistic regression adjusted for key covariates explored the relationship between low ESE and disordered eating among selected race and gender groups. Self-perceived weight as underweight or overweight; and dieting, vomiting or taking laxatives, taking diet pills, and fasting to lose weight were each associated (p<.05) with lower levels of ESE for certain race/gender groups. Findings provide increased justification for tailoring disordered eating interventions and treatments to accommodate the highest risk groups. Measures of ESE should be considered for adolescent mental health assessments in fieldwork, research, and evaluation efforts.