Clinical features of body dysmorphic disorder in adolescents and adults

Psychiatry Res. 2006 Mar 30;141(3):305-14. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2005.09.014. Epub 2006 Feb 23.


Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) usually begins during adolescence, but its clinical features have received little investigation in this age group. Two hundred individuals with BDD (36 adolescents; 164 adults) completed interviewer-administered and self-report measures. Adolescents were preoccupied with numerous aspects of their appearance, most often their skin, hair, and stomach. Among the adolescents, 94.3% reported moderate, severe, or extreme distress due to BDD, 80.6% had a history of suicidal ideation, and 44.4% had attempted suicide. Adolescents experienced high rates and levels of impairment in school, work, and other aspects of psychosocial functioning. Adolescents and adults were comparable on most variables, although adolescents had significantly more delusional BDD beliefs and a higher lifetime rate of suicide attempts. Thus, adolescents with BDD have high levels of distress and rates of functional impairment, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. BDD's clinical features in adolescents appear largely similar to those in adults.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Somatoform Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Somatoform Disorders / epidemiology
  • Somatoform Disorders / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data