Disordered eating and suicidal intent: the role of thin ideal internalisation, shame and family criticism

Eur Eat Disord Rev. 2012 Jan;20(1):39-48. doi: 10.1002/erv.1070. Epub 2011 Jan 3.


Objective: We explored the effect of thin ideal internalisation, shame proneness and family criticism on disordered eating and suicidal intent in female Mexican adolescents.

Method: We studied a probabilistic sample of 2537 high school students in central Mexico, stratified by marginalisation status and migratory intensity. We used a generalised logistic regression model to estimate the odds of disordered eating and suicidal intent across scores for three predictors: Internalisation of the thin ideal, shame and family criticism.

Results: Disordered eating was reported by 4.2% (95% CI = 0.9-7.5%) and suicidal intent by 13.2% (95% CI = 12.0-14.4%) of girls. The unadjusted odds ratios of any disordered eating for thin ideal internalisation, shame proneness and familial criticism were 1.2, 1.1 and 3.2, respectively. The positive association between thin ideal internalisation and disordered eating remained even after controlling for shame proneness and familial criticism. The association of these variables with suicidal intent was weaker.

Discussion: Results support stronger effects for disordered eating than suicidal intent across the three unadjusted predictors. It also highlights the presence of the relationship of criticism and disordered eating in female adolescents from low and middle socio-economic backgrounds.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Family Relations*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / economics
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mexico / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Shame*
  • Suicidal Ideation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / economics
  • Thinness / psychology
  • Young Adult