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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Developmental risk factors for eating disorder symptoms in adolescents: findings from the Australian Temperament Study

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Journal of Eating Disorders20142 (Suppl 1) :O44

  • Published:


  • Eating Behavior
  • Longitudinal Data
  • Birth Cohort
  • Eating Disorder
  • Factor Model

The study used longitudinal data from an Australian population based birth cohort to identify developmental risk factors for eating disorder symptoms in adolescents. The aims were to: (1) develop a confirmatory factor model of risky eating attitudes and behaviours at 15-16 years of age based on the Eating Disorder Inventory (EDI), (2) develop a path model of childhood predictors of adolescent eating disorder symptoms, and (3) examine gender invariance to see whether predictors differed for males and females. Data were drawn from the Australian Temperament Study, a longitudinal study of the health and development of a population-based cohort across 15 waves of data collection from infancy to adulthood. Participants in the current study were the 1,300 youth who completed the EDI at age 15-16 years. Eating disorder symptoms in mid-adolescence was best explained by multiple factors from individual, interpersonal, and family domains. The relative importance of predictors differed for males and females. The findings contribute to our understanding of psychosocial and environmental factors influencing pathways towards disordered eating behaviors in adolescents.

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

Authors’ Affiliations

University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
University of Chicago, Chicago, USA
Geelong Grammar School, Melbourne, Australia
Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia


© Hughes et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

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.