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Prospective Pathways to Depressive Symptoms and Disordered Eating in Adolescence: A 7-Year Longitudinal Cohort Study

Lewis-Smith, H., Bray, I., Salmon, D. ORCID: 0000-0003-2562-2116 and Slater, A. (2020). Prospective Pathways to Depressive Symptoms and Disordered Eating in Adolescence: A 7-Year Longitudinal Cohort Study. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, doi: 10.1007/s10964-020-01291-1

Abstract

Eating pathology and depressive symptoms increase during adolescence, yet predictive pathways remain predominantly unexplored, despite their implications for prevention. The present study aimed to identify shared risk factors for eating pathology and depressive symptoms by evaluating an adapted Dual-Pathway Model of disordered eating, which postulated that higher BMI would predict disordered eating and depressive symptoms via pathways between body dissatisfaction, later BMI, depressive symptoms, and visible indicators of puberty (breast development for girls, height for boys). The participants were 8915 children (49% girls) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a population-based cohort study of British children, who were assessed at different intervals between the age of 7 to 14 years. Path analyses revealed that, for girls, childhood BMI exerted indirect effects on disordered eating via body dissatisfaction, depressive symptoms, and more advanced breast development, with indirect pathways identified to depressive symptoms via earlier depressive symptoms and more advanced breast development. For boys, childhood BMI had indirect effects on disordered eating via later BMI and body dissatisfaction, while only earlier depressive symptoms were found to have an independent and direct effect on adolescent depressive symptoms. This study reveals shared and independent risk factors for eating pathology and depressive symptoms in adolescence and suggests targets for preventative interventions, including higher BMI, body dissatisfaction, and depressive symptoms, in addition to advanced breast development, for girls.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Departments: School of Health Sciences
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2020 12:51
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/24828
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