Young women with physical disabilities: Risk factors for symptoms of eating disorders

Susan M. Gross, Henry T. Ireys, Stephen L. Kinsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Women with disabilities are at risk for poor psychological adjustment and unhealthy weight-control practices. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of symptoms of eating disorders in a clinic-based sample of women who had two disabling conditions and to identify condition-related risk factors that were linked to these symptoms. A cross-sectional survey of 71 women (mean age = 23 yr) with spina bifida or rheumatologically related illnesses was conducted to assess the symptoms of eating disorders condition-related characteristics, and weight-control practices. Symptoms of eating disorders were measured by the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI). Eight percent of the respondents reported a sufficient number of symptoms of eating disorders to indicate a possible clinical disorder. More than 20% of the respondents scored at or above the clinical cut-point on at least one of the eight EDI subscales. Selected condition-related characteristics (multiple conditions, condition-affected driving, and uncertainty of illness course) were associated with EDI scores after adjusting for demographic variables, family factors, and weight-control practices. J Dev Behav Pediatr 21:87-96, 2000. Index terms: eating disorders, body image, disability, spina bifida, rheumatic diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-96
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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