Eating attitudes as related to demographic and personality characteristics: a high school survey

Can J Psychiatry. 1988 Dec;33(9):834-7. doi: 10.1177/070674378803300910.


A survey of 577 high school students was conducted to assess attitudes toward eating and their relationship to demographic and personality characteristics. Students completed a demographic questionnaire, and Eating Attitude Test (EAT-26) and the Basic Personality Inventory (A-BPI). When a cut-off score of 20 on EAT-26 was applied, overall prevalence of disordered eating attitude was found to be 7.5%. Groups scoring in pathological versus normal ranges showed no significant difference in mean age, socioeconomic status or race. The former group reported significantly shorter height and lower body weight. Of the subjects, 6.06% reported weight below the 10th percentile. This subgroup did not vary from those above the 10th percentile on sociodemographic and psychopathological variables, nor in prevalence of abnormal eating attitudes. Analysis of the A-BPI data showed subjects with abnormal eating attitudes had increased psychopathology in several areas, with greater neurotic tendencies, lower self-esteem and higher levels of deviant thinking and behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anorexia Nervosa / psychology
  • Attitude*
  • Body Weight
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Psychometrics
  • Risk Factors