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Title: When Informing About Eating Disorders Exacerbates the Problem Instead of Preventing it: Which Programs Work and Which Ones do not?
Authors: Faccio, Elena
Fusa, Valentina
Iudici, Antonio
Issue Date: 20-Dec-2013
Publisher: PsychOpen GOLD
Abstract: Nowadays, we find in the literature many researches and related theories about body diseases and eating disorders in adolescence. Basing on these theories, the health promotion interventions at school are inclined to give youth the outcomes of risk behavior analysis, in the development of eating disorders. Those interventions lack of consideration regarding what students already think about the origins of the diseases. In this work we seek for the spontaneous ideas about developing of eating disorders and theories about how these problems could be prevented at school. In order to do that, we constructed an ad hoc survey which have been validated. Using the factorial analysis, we recognized three factors that participants used to explain the disorder: Relationship with parents, self-harm and mental illness; Organic illness; and Social comparison and social acceptance. The analysis of the data suggest that, in the schools that did not have programs of health promotion on food and the body (70%), students are more vulnerable to eating disorder. Among the others, the factor considered the most important by the students of these school, was the social comparison and social acceptance. On the contrary, the students who participated to the health programs on this topic, were more likely to consider responsible the relationships with parents, mental illness and self-harm. Considering the outcomes, we could suggest to rethink the methods utilized to promote health programs for preventing eating disorders at school.
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