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The prevalence of eating disorders among university students and the relationship with some individual characteristics

The prevalence of eating disorders among university students and the relationship with some individual characteristics

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 40(2): 129-135

The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of eating disorders (EDs) among university students in a rural area of Turkey and to compare groups based on the sociodemographic data, history of child abuse and neglect, family roles and self-esteem with a normal control group regarding EDs. Subjects who were chosen by simple random sampling method were consisted of 980 Cumhuriyet University students who agreed to participate out of the 1003 total students and were given a sociodemographic information form and an Eating Attitudes Test (EAT). Students who scored above a cutoff level on the EAT were interviewed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV axis I Disorders (SCID-I), Clinical Version. The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, Family Assessment Device (FAD) and Childhood Abuse and Neglect Questionnaire Form were given to subjects in the control and study groups. Seventy-one of the 951 students (492 female, 459 male) who correctly filled out the EAT had a score above the cutoff level of 30 or higher. Of these 71 students, 21 (2.20%) were found to have an eating disorder based on the SCID-I. No subjects were found to have anorexia nervosa. Eighteen of the 21 subjects were female. Of these 18 female students, 15 (1.57%) were found to have bulimia nervosa and three (0.31%) were found to have binge eating disorder (BED). All of the three male subjects were diagnosed with BED (0.31%). The self-esteem of those in the study group was lower than those in the control group (p < 0.001). Subjects in the study group had more frequent histories of sexual and emotional abuse in childhood (p < 0.05). Also, in the study group scores showing communication in FAD families, unity and emotional attachment were statistically significantly lower than the control group (p < 0.001). It has been observed from the results of this research that the frequency of bulimia nervosa and BED in this sample is so similar to Western samples. Besides that, self-esteem, child abuse and neglect, and family functions must be examined in detail because they are risk factors for EDs and affect the course of treatment.

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Accession: 012672458

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PMID: 16476130

DOI: 10.1080/j.1440-1614.2006.01759.x

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