CitationTabler, Jennifer & Utz, Rebecca L. (2015). The influence of adolescent eating disorders or disordered eating behaviors on socioeconomic achievement in early adulthood. International Journal of Eating Disorders.
AbstractObjective Much research documents the etiology and health consequences of adolescent eating disorders (ED), but very little is known about the long-term effects of EDs on the transition to adulthood. This study explores gender differences in the influence of EDs or disordered eating behaviors (DEB) on measures of socioeconomic independence in early adulthood. Method Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), this study compares individuals who self-identified as have been diagnosed with an ED or engaged in DEBs in late adolescence to those without ED or DEB on three measures of socioeconomic independence during early adulthood, including educational attainment, income, and likelihood of owning a home. This study uses multiple regression techniques and attempts to account for early-life conditions and health outcomes associated with EDs and DEBs. Results For females, ED or DEB in late adolescence had a statistically significant, negative association with educational attainment (coefficient = −0.20, p = .05), personal income (coefficient = −0.12, p < .05) and odds of owning a home (odds ratio = 0.73, p < .02) in early adulthood. For males, ED or DEB was not associated with socioeconomic attainment. Discussion Our findings suggest that EDs and DEBs are negatively associated with socioeconomic achievement during early adulthood for females, but not for males. EDs or DEBs during adolescence may set individuals on a different trajectory whereby they do not have the same life chances or opportunities for success in adulthood. These results confirm the public health message that EDs or DEBs have lasting negative consequences for women. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2015)
Reference TypeJournal Article
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Eating Disorders
Utz, Rebecca L.