Body image disturbance in children and adolescents with eating disorders: Current evidence and future directions

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Body image is multifaceted and incorporates perceptual, affective, and cognitive components as well as behavioral features. Only few studies have examined the character of body-image disturbance in children/adolescents with eating disorders. It is unknown whether body-image disturbances in children/adolescent with eating disturbances are comparable to those of adult patients with eating disorders. Body-image disturbance might differ quantitatively and qualitatively according to the cognitive developmental status and the age of the individual. This paper provides an overview of the current evidence for body-image disturbance in children/adolescents with eating disorders, and how they compare with those adults with eating disorders. Current evidence indicates that older adolescent patients show similar deficits as adult patients with eating disorders, in particular for the attitudinal body-image component. However, evidence for a perceptual body-image disturbance in adolescent patients, in particular anorexia nervosa, is not conclusive. Reliable statements for childhood can hardly be made because clinical studies are not available. Investigations of body-image disturbance in children have focused on the predictive value for eating disorders. Limitations of the current evidence are discussed, and future directions for research and therapy are indicated. © 2014 Verlag Hans Huber, Hogrefe AG, Bern.

AuthorLegenbauer, T., Thiemann, P., Vocks, S.
JournalZeitschrift fur Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und
Volume42(1):51-9
Year2014

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