Disordered eating attitudes and emotional/behavioral adjustment in Greek adolescents

Eat Weight Disord. 2018 Oct;23(5):621-628. doi: 10.1007/s40519-017-0466-x. Epub 2017 Nov 30.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between disordered eating attitudes and emotional/behavioral adjustment in Greek adolescents as well as the moderating role of gender and body mass index (BMI) in this relationship.

Methods: Ninety adolescents, 11-18 years old, were assessed using anthropometric measurements; demographics, eating attitudes and level of emotional/behavioral adjustment were examined via self-reported questionnaires.

Results: Disordered eating attitudes were prevalent in 17.8% of the sample. A significant relationship was found between disordered eating attitudes and Youth Self-Report (YSR) anxiety score (r = .22, p < .05). Gender significantly moderated the relationship between YSR anxiety symptoms and Eating Attitudes Test (EAT) scores (b = .59, p = .01) and this effect held true for the EAT bulimia subscale (b = .20, p = .03), but not for the dieting or the oral control subscales. Contrary to our hypothesis, BMI did not moderate the relationship between EAT and YSR anxiety sub-scores (b = .13, p > .05).

Conclusion: Girls with elevated anxiety levels appear to be at risk for exhibiting disordered eating attitudes, especially bulimic behaviors. This finding highlights the importance of developing gender-based preventive interventions tailored to these specific emotional/behavioral aspects.

Level of evidence: Level V, cross-sectional descriptive study.

Keywords: Adolescence; Anxiety; Bulimia; Dieting; Disordered eating.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Body Image / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emotional Adjustment / physiology*
  • Emotions / physiology*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Self Concept
  • Self Report