Perception of body size, subjective experience of body image distortions and differentiation of body concept in the human figure drawing were assessed in adolescent anorexia nervosa patients and controls shortly after hospital admission, and again 6 months later during the recuperative phase. Size estimation was not found to be a distinguishing variable, as both groups exhibited overestimation tendencies of comparable magnitude at both time periods. By contrast, experiences denoting estrangement from the body, insensitivity to body sensations, and weakness of body boundaries were more prevalent in anorexics, and persisted at high levels after frank symptoms of weight and eating disorder had subsided. Anorexics were also shown to depict the human figure with less differentiation relative to controls. Within the anorexic sample the presence of vomiting was linked to greater subjective experience of body image distortion, and such phenomena appear to be a more enduring feature in this subgroup. Overall, the results were viewed as lending support to the argument that defects in body image formation render the anorexic vulnerable to their manifest pathology, which is itself activated by maturational conflicts unique to adolescence.