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A psychosocial risk factor model for female eating disorders: a European multicentre project


To investigate through Structural Equation Modelling (SEM), the relationship between parenting styles, teasing about body weight/shape or eating, internalization of the thin ideal and body dissatisfaction amongst eating disorders (EDs) and controls and to see whether the risk factor model differed across various European countries and ED subtypes.


The total sample comprised 1373 participants(ED patients=618).The Cross-Cultural Questionnaire (CCQ) was used to assess the above-mentioned risk factors.


SEM analyses showed that the best fitting model was one allowing risk paths to vary across countries [χ2(425)=2105.271,p<.0001,RMSEA,=.022,CFI=.980]. In all countries teasing about weight/shape or eating was associated with body dissatisfaction(directly and via internalization of the thin ideal).There was a strong significant path from body dissatisfaction to ED(standardised path coefficient across countries:0.44-0.69, p<0.0001).Teasing about weight/shape or eating also directly predicted EDs (in the UK, Spain and Slovenia).There was however a weak effect of parenting on both teasing about weight/shape or eating and EDs directly.Risk models slightly varied across ED diagnoses.


Our hypothesised model was partially confirmed; in particular the central role of teasing on EDs both directly and mediated by internalization of the thin ideal and body dissatisfaction was shown across five European countries.Conversely, the effect of parenting varied by country and therefore might have cross-cultural effects.

This abstract was presented in the Prevention & Public Health stream of the 2014 ANZAED Conference.

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Correspondence to Isabel Krug.

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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 (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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Krug, I., Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, M., Mitchell, S. et al. A psychosocial risk factor model for female eating disorders: a European multicentre project. J Eat Disord 2 (Suppl 1), O39 (2014).

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