Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are psychological syndromes characterized by severe disturbances in eating behavior, typically in conjunction with intense fears of weight gain, distortion in one's perception of one's body shape and weight, and/or having a self-evaluation that is unduly influenced by body shape and weight. Eating disorders are of particular concern to educational psychologists because they typically onset in mid-to-late adolescence, and also because sociocultural and normative factors are strongly implicated in their etiology. In addition, some researchers believe that eating disorders may be best ameliorated through prevention programs targeted toward high-risk adolescents and delivered in educational settings. In this entry, the symptoms and diagnostic criteria for the two main eating disorder diagnoses—anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa—are presented first, followed by a description of the prevalence ...

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