An exploratory analysis of anxiety and body image in the early detection of eating disorders

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Greene, Ciara
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BA in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Statistics recently released reveal data pertaining to the increase in the number of young girls presenting with eating disorders. Empirical research identifies anxiety and body image dissatisfaction as symptomatic of eating disorders. This investigation postulates that if young girls are increasingly vulnerable to eating disorders then they should record elevated levels of anxiety and body image dissatisfaction. Sixty-one girls aged 8-11 years participated in a cross-sectional survey design correlation study. The results indicate some support for the theory proposed. This research forwards a role for anxiety and body image measures in the early detection of eating disorders. It also recommends the introduction of a primary school program that teaches children to cope with these issues, in order to be proactive in preventing eating disorders.