Methods. An epidemiological investigation of behavior disorders in a population of 434 students (52.3% males, 47.7% females) ranging from 16 to 19 years of age has been carried out. Possible correlations between eating disturbances, drug addiction related behaviors, suicide attempts and former sexual abuses have been discussed. An anonymous self administered questionnaire, prepared by the authors, had been used. The statistical analysis was carried out with the SPSS/PC Factor software. Results. This study revealed the presence of adolescents with unstable or quantitatively not adeguate eating behaviors, which are expressed by borderline symptoms and not by clear syndromes. Distorted attitudes towards weight, body and food, related to disturbances of body image, were pointed out. In particular, girl seemed to be unhappy with their own body. There was a correlation between abnormal eating behaviors (borderline bulimia) and low level of selfesteem. "Anorexic behavior" and "bulimic behavior" had a significant correlation to suicide attempts. A relationship between "bulimic behavior" and use/abuse of drugs and/or alcohol was found. In our population several kinds of violence were found (2.6% sexual abuse with physical contact; 13.5% sexual abuse without physical contact; 9-4% physical abuse) experienced inside or outside families. The adolescent victims of sexual abuse showed abnormal eating behavior, mostly a tendency to a "bulimic behavior". Conclusions. This study seems to confirm that there are significant correlations and overlapping between eating disorders and several conduct disorders. Moreover the presence of a correlation between eating disturbances, even if borderline and traumatic events of sexual nature is confirmed.
|Translated title of the contribution||Eating disorders. Epidemiological study of 434 adolescents|
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1997|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health