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The sociocultural model of eating disorder development: application to a Guatemalan sample

, : The sociocultural model of eating disorder development: application to a Guatemalan sample. Eating Behaviors 9(3): 277-284

Exposure to Western ideals of appearance along with rapid societal change appears to be salient risk factors for eating disorder development. According to the sociocultural model, internalization of the thin ideal leads to body dissatisfaction and subsequent negative affect and dieting behaviors which increase the risk for eating disorder development. An expanded version of the sociocultural model was examined among an economically stratified sample of 347 girls in grades 5 and 6 from Guatemala City. Questionnaires used to measure disturbed eating attitudes and behaviors, body dissatisfaction, social sensitivity, and internalization of the thin ideal were administered and BMI was calculated following measurement of height and weight. Path analyses showed that the expanded sociocultural model was an excellent fit to the data. Both elevated adiposity and social sensitivity led to increased body dissatisfaction and thin ideal internalization. Thin ideal internalization led to body dissatisfaction and to disturbed eating attitudes and behaviors. Results suggest that developing countries are not immune to the influence of sociocultural risk factors for eating disorders.


PMID: 18549986

DOI: 10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.10.002

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