Eating disorder symptoms: association with perfectionism traits in male adolescents

LEONARDO DE SOUSA FORTES FLÁVIA MARCELE CIPRIANI SEBASTIÃO DE SOUSA ALMEIDA MARIA ELISA CAPUTO FERREIRA About the authors

Background

Evidence indicates a relationship between perfectionism and eating disorder symptoms (EDS). However, there is no such empirical evidence in Brazilian scientific literature. Moreover, studies of EDS in the male sex are scarce.

Objective

To analyze a possible association between EDS and perfectionism traits in adolescent males.

Methods

Participants were 368 adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. We used the subscales of the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26) and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale to assess EDS and perfectionism traits, respectively.

Results

The results indicated a statistically significant association between the high perfectionism trait and EDS (X2 = 16.40; Wald = 15.92; p = 0.001). Moreover, the findings showed no difference in the scores of the Diet (F(1, 367) = 2.14; p = 0.23) or Concern for Food and Bulimia (F(1, 367) = 2.44; p = 0.19) subscales according to groups of perfectionism. However, we identified a higher score on the Oral Self-Control subscale of the EAT-26 in the group with high perfectionism trait than adolescents with a low perfectionism trait (F(1, 367) = 13.88; p = 0.02). Discussion: EDS were associated with perfectionism in adolescent males.

Eating disorders; perfectionism; adolescents


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