Volume 1 Supplement 1

Proceedings of the 2013 Australia and New Zealand Academy for Eating Disorders (ANZAED) Conference. Inspiring Change: Person and Context

Open Access

Defining disordered eating trajectories across adolescence and assessing their impact on psychosocial outcomes using growth mixture modelling

  • Sarah A Mitchell1Email author,
  • Leah Brennan2,
  • Isabel Krug3 and
  • Nicholas B Allen3, 4
Journal of Eating Disorders20131(Suppl 1):O65


Published: 14 November 2013

Few studies have examined different trajectories of disordered eating in adolescence across time which has particular relevance given the extensive maturation during this period.


To identify trajectory classes of disordered eating across adolescence using Growth Mixture Modelling and to examine differences in psychosocial outcomes (lifetime history of mood, anxiety and substance use disorders, sleep quality, depression and anxiety symptoms, rumination and general psychosocial functioning) between classes.


Participants included 213 individuals (106 males) from 3 waves of the Adolescent Development Study; Time 1 (mean age=14.98), Time 2 (mean age=16.61) and Time 3 (mean age=18.85).


Factor scores based on confirmatory factor analysis of subscales and behavioural frequency items from the EDE-Q were used to estimate trajectories. The best fitting model comprised a 4-Class model including "high decreasing, moderate increasing, low stable, and low decreasing" trajectories. Further, the high decreasing and moderate increasing trajectories were characterized by poorer psychosocial outcomes compared to the remaining two classes (p-values ranged from <.001 to <.05 for the majority of comparisons).


Findings provide increased insights into different developmental patterns of disordered eating across adolescence and suggests that even if symptoms decrease across time, they are still associated with poorer outcomes during late adolescence.

This abstract was presented in the Understanding and Treating Eating Pathology stream of the 2013 ANZAED Conference.

Authors’ Affiliations

School of Psychology and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University
School of Psychology, Australian Catholic University
School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne
Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, University of Melbourne


© Mitchell et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2013

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.