BODY ATTITUDE AND BODY EXPERIENCE IN GREEK AND FLEMISH FEMALES WITH AND WITHOUT EATING DISORDERS

Maria Efstratopoulou, Michel Probst, Elfi Fotiou, Johan Simons

Abstract


Assessment of young females with anorexia nervosa was carried out at the time of hospitalization. Findings were compared to those from two typical weight control groups from Belgium and Greece. The total sample consisted of three groups: a) a clinical sample of 75 Belgian females with anorexia nervosa (mean age=19.01, sd=2.20), b) a typical Greek sample of 137 females (mean age=18.68, sd=1.92) and c) a control sample of 130 typical Flemish females (mean age=18.61, sd=1.34). The Body Attitude Test (BAT; Probst, et al., 1995) for female patients with eating disorders (ED) was used to measure the subjective body experience and attitudes toward body. The Body Satisfaction Scale, Silhouette Chart and the Semantic Differential were also used. One-way analysis of variance, revealed group differences on body attitudes. As it was initially hypothesised, the female patients indicated more negative attitudes and a poorer self-evaluation of their body in comparison to the non clinical groups. However, analysis of the data from Silhouette Chart and the Semantic Differential revealed that in some items there were no significant differences on body experience and satisfaction between the typical Greek female group and the clinical Belgian female group, which was an interesting and unexpected finding. The authors examined the outcomes from a cross-cultural viewpoint. Research into the cultural factors that could contribute to body dissatisfaction could help us understand the underline mechanisms and create effective preventive interventions for young females. 

 

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Keywords


body attitude, body dissatisfaction, body experience, anorexia nervosa, eating disorders

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