Factors associated with weight concerns in adolescent girls

C. Barr Taylor, Tamara Sharpe, Catherine Shisslak, Susan Bryson, Linda S. Estes, Norma Gray, Katherine M. McKnight, Marjorie Crago, Helena C. Kraemer, Joel D. Killen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined the association of weight concerns with potential risk factors for the development of eating disorders. Method: A self-report survey was given to 103 elementary (Grades 4 and 5) and 420 middle (Grades 6-8) school students in Arizona and California. Of these, 78 elementary and 333 middle school students provided complete data and were used in the analyses. Results: In a multivariate stepwise regression analysis, the importance that peers put on weight and eating was most strongly related to weight concerns in the elementary school girls, accounting for 34% of the variance after adjusting for site differences. Trying to look like girls/women on TV and in magazines as well as body mass index (BMI) entered the final model that accounted for 57% of the variance in weight concerns. In middle school, the importance that peers place on weight and eating was also the strongest predictor accounting for 33% of the variance followed by confidence, BMI, trying to look like girls/women on TV and in magazines, and being teased about weight. Together these variables accounted for 55% of the variance. Discussion: Prevention programs aimed at reducing weight concerns need to address these factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Eating disorders
  • Risk factors
  • Weight concerns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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