Prevalence of eating disorders in Latina adolescents: associations with substance use and other correlates

J Adolesc Health. 2005 Mar;36(3):214-20. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2004.01.015.


Purpose: To estimate the occurrence and correlates of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa-related symptoms in a Latina sample of U.S. adolescents.

Method: Approximately 1866 Latinas ranging in age from 11-20 years old are included in this study. These adolescents are a sub-sample from the National Longitudinal Survey on Adolescent Health. Along with self-reports of eating disorder-related variables, we measured related biological, contextual, behavioral, and psychosocial correlates, including use of various substances.

Conclusion: Chi-square analysis showed the prevalence in all Latina sub-groups was relatively consistent with the U.S. trends. Latinas of higher socioeconomic status were more at risk for eating disorders. Body dissatisfaction, negative affectivity, substance use, and low self-esteem were all positively correlated with eating disorder symptoms. These results suggest screening and treatment services are needed across groups of Latina adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anorexia Nervosa / epidemiology*
  • Anorexia Nervosa / ethnology*
  • Bulimia / epidemiology*
  • Bulimia / ethnology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • United States / epidemiology