Family environment, developmental, and personality predictors of eating disorder symptomatology in high school females

Kathleen Mary Zraly, Fordham University


Examined family-environment, developmental, and personality predictors of eating-disorder symptomatology in high school females. Developmental trends were examined by grade level. One-hundred and eighty six females (47 freshmen, 53 sophomores, 52 juniors and 34 seniors) were administered six self-report batteries, the Eating Awareness Test, the Eating Disorder Inventory, the Family Environment Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the Ego Identity Process Questionnaire, and the Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire. Although overall means for eating disorder symptomatology appear high in comparison to the means for normative samples, t-tests revealed no significant differences. Results by grade level revealed above norm eating disorder symptoms with higher percentages found among the sophomore and senior classes. Pearson product-moment correlations revealed a number of relationships between the subscales of the Eating Disorder Inventory and eating disorder symtpomatology. Significant correlations were also found among the predictors for each grade level. Pearson product-moment correlations confirmed the hypothesis that interoceptive awareness, mastery and competitiveness were related to eating disorder symptomatology for the overall sample; partial support was found for grade level. Results of a Chi-square revealed a significant relationship between characteristics associated with Marcia's foreclosed and identity diffused and eating disorder symptomatology for the overall sample. A one-way analysis of variance revealed that self-esteem varied by grade level with significant differences noted for the freshmen and sophomores. A multiple regression analysis revealed interoceptive awareness, exploration, and competitiveness as the best predictors of eating disorders symptomatology. No relationships between eating disorder symptomatology and family environment were found for the overall sample or by grade level. The findings suggest that eating disorder symptomatology for this sample is heterogenous, thereby supporting current theories which suggest that the etiology of eating disorders is a complex combination of independent predictors. Future studies may want to explore the relationship between developmental dynamics associated with this age group and eating disorder symptomatology.

Subject Area

Developmental psychology|Psychotherapy|Womens studies|Families & family life|Personal relationships|Sociology

Recommended Citation

Zraly, Kathleen Mary, "Family environment, developmental, and personality predictors of eating disorder symptomatology in high school females" (1995). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9530048.