The Prevalence and Inter-Relationship of Negative Body Image Perception, Depression and Susceptibility to Eating Disorders among Female Medical Undergraduate Students VC01-VC04
Dr. Coumaravelou Saravanan,
Visiting Academic in Clinical Psychology, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, P.O Box 27272, UAE.
E-mail : email@example.com
Introduction: Female students are thought to be more negatively impacted by body image ideals and often more susceptible to various eating related disorders compared to men. A previous study using a sample of female students in Malaysia did not identify whether the increase in susceptibility to eating disorders can be explained by the level of body image acceptance.
Aim: To identify the prevalence of depression and susceptibility to eating disorders among a sample of 206 female students in one of the private universities in Malaysia and explore the relationship between depression, body image and susceptibility to eating disorders. In addition, this study aimed to determine whether depression is a mediator between body image and susceptibility to eating disorders among female college students.
Materials and Methods: The Body Image Acceptance and Action Questionnaire were used to assess body image acceptance, the Patient Health Questionnaire to measure depression and the Eating Attitude Test- 26 was used to assess susceptibility to eating disorders.
Results: The results showed that 65.5% (??=135) of the students were depressed and 6.3% (n=13) were susceptible to eating disorders. There was a significant positive relationship between depression and eating disorders and a negative relationship between body image and depression as well as between body image and eating disorder. Further, the regression model showed that depression was partially mediating the effect of body image on eating disorders.
Conclusion: Body image and depression contribute to eating disorders and treating depression could reduce susceptibility to eating disorders.