Eating Disorders Among Adolescents

Open Access
Dharbhamulla, Nikhita Murty
Area of Honors:
Health Policy and Administration
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Marianne Messersmith Hillemeier, Thesis Supervisor
  • Rhonda BeLue, Honors Advisor
  • eating disorders
  • adolescents
Eating disorders have become a more prevalent illness in recent years. The purpose of this study is to identify characteristics that are associated with an increased risk of having an eating disorder among adolescents. This study analyzes the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, also known as the ADD Health Data set. The data is examined using descriptive cross-tabulations, followed by regression analysis. The study found that anorexia is associated with being female, being white, reporting not feeling close to people at school, a part of school, or happy at school, feeling depressed, poorer self-rated health, perceiving oneself as overweight, exhibiting some eating disorder-related behaviors, being less likely to have a mother with lower education, and reporting not being close to his or her mother. With knowledge about the risk factors that this study found to be associated with a higher risk of having anorexia, policymakers, counselors, teachers, parents, and others who work with adolescents will be better able to detect when an adolescent has an eating disorder, and intervene with the person’s problem before it becomes detrimental to the person’s health.