Dieting practices, influences, beliefs and self-concept of female high school students
McMurray, Kelly Marie
Master of Arts
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There has been a recent explosion of interest in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. There are many social influences which are thought to encourage women to strive for unrealistic thinness. The suggestion that with early Intervention, eating disorders are associated with good outcome, implies that the investigation of subclinical cases may have important therapeutic implications. This study aimed to Identify subclinical cases (weight preoccupation) in female high school students. One hundred and ninety students from four different schools and two different provinces participated in the study. Individuals who were classified as weight preoccupied,as determined by the Eating Attitudes Test, were compared to non-weight preoccupied females on measures of dieting practices, self-concept,irrational beliefs and social influences to diet. Significant differences were found in all areas except self-concept. By identifying contributing factors involved in weight preoccupation it may be possible to deal with these issues before the Individual reaches the criteria for a serious clinical disorder, namely anorexia or bulimia. The results yield preventative implications.