Is puberty a risk factor for eating disorders?

J. D. Killen, C. Hayward, I. Litt, L. D. Hammer, D. M. Wilson, B. Miner, C. B. Taylor, A. Varady, Catherine M Shisslak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. - To examine the association between stage of sexual maturation and eating disorder symptoms in a community-based sample of adolescent girls. Participants. - All sixth- and seventh-grade girls (N = 971) enrolled in four northern California middle schools. Main Variables Examined. - Pubertal development measured using self-reported Tanner stage and body mass index (kg/m2). The section of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R Disorders (SCID) discussing bulimia nervosa was used to evaluate symptoms of bulimia nervosa. Results. - Girls manifesting eating disorder symptoms, while not significantly older than their peers without such symptoms, were more developmentally advanced as determined with Tanner self-staging. The odds ratio for the association between sexual maturity and symptoms was 1.8 (95% confidence interval, 1.2 to 2.8); ie, at each age, an increase in sexual maturity of a single point was associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the odds of presenting symptoms. The odds ratio for the association between body mass index (adjusted for sexual maturity) and symptoms was 1.02 (95% confidence interval, 1.0 to 1.05). There was no independent effect of age or of the interaction between age and the sexual maturity index. Conclusions. - These results suggest that (1) puberty may be a risk factor for the development of eating disorders, and (2) prevention efforts might best be directed at prepubertal and peripubertal adolescents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-325
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Diseases of Children
Volume146
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992

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Puberty
Bulimia Nervosa
Body Mass Index
Odds Ratio
Confidence Intervals
Sexual Maturation
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
Interviews
Feeding and Eating Disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Killen, J. D., Hayward, C., Litt, I., Hammer, L. D., Wilson, D. M., Miner, B., ... Shisslak, C. M. (1992). Is puberty a risk factor for eating disorders? American Journal of Diseases of Children, 146(3), 323-325.

Is puberty a risk factor for eating disorders? / Killen, J. D.; Hayward, C.; Litt, I.; Hammer, L. D.; Wilson, D. M.; Miner, B.; Taylor, C. B.; Varady, A.; Shisslak, Catherine M.

In: American Journal of Diseases of Children, Vol. 146, No. 3, 1992, p. 323-325.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Killen, JD, Hayward, C, Litt, I, Hammer, LD, Wilson, DM, Miner, B, Taylor, CB, Varady, A & Shisslak, CM 1992, 'Is puberty a risk factor for eating disorders?', American Journal of Diseases of Children, vol. 146, no. 3, pp. 323-325.
Killen JD, Hayward C, Litt I, Hammer LD, Wilson DM, Miner B et al. Is puberty a risk factor for eating disorders? American Journal of Diseases of Children. 1992;146(3):323-325.
Killen, J. D. ; Hayward, C. ; Litt, I. ; Hammer, L. D. ; Wilson, D. M. ; Miner, B. ; Taylor, C. B. ; Varady, A. ; Shisslak, Catherine M. / Is puberty a risk factor for eating disorders?. In: American Journal of Diseases of Children. 1992 ; Vol. 146, No. 3. pp. 323-325.
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