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Most of the studies about Eating Disorders in adolescents have been typically focused on females, only to conclude that the approach should be similar in males. It has been stimated that 5-10% of patients with Anorexia Nervosa are males. Later age of onset and higher prevalence of premorbid overweight are considered among the main differences with female patients.
Analysis of the anthropometric variables of a sample of males with diagnosis of Restrictive Eating Disorder.
Naturalistic, Descriptive and Retrospective study
- Sample: 22 male adolescents
- Inclusion criteria: males with Restrictive Eating Disorder diagnosis (according to DSM-IV criteria) admitted to an Eating Disorder ward during 2007 and 2008
- “ad hoc” questionnaire (15 items)
- Analysis: PASW statistics 18
Age range: 7-14years (medium age=14,79±2,50years).11 patients (50%) were older than 16 years-old
- Medium BMI (Body Mass Index) at the beginning of the admission was 17,79kg/m2.
medium weight loss: 13,5±7,02kg/m2 (corresponding to a reduction of 22,24±7,52% of the previous weight)
- Medium speed of weight loss: 0,92±1,1kg/54
- BMI at discharge: 18,69 ±3,43 kg/m2
- 19/22 patients (86%) had a premorbid history of overweight
- Binge eating: 8 patients (36,4%)
- Purgative behaviour: 10 patients (45%)
- Laxatives use: 4 patients (18%)
- Intense physical exercise: 21 patients (95,5%)
- Average duration of current restrictive episode: 13,7 months
In the studied sample we observed:
- High prevalence of premobid overweight
- Very high frequency of compulsive exercise
- Drastic weight loss and loss of a very high percentage of the previous weight, in short periods of time, reaching very low BMI.
One of the key profile features of adolescents with Eating Disorders (ED) is a difficulty with assertiveness. Indeed, current research points to the importance of these patients’ perception of excessive control exerted by their families. Because these adolescents generally live with their families of origin, family-based variables may impact the development and evolution of psychosocial risk factors associated with this psychiatric disorder.
To investigate whether adolescents with ED improve on assertive communication as a result of parental assertiveness training.
The sample was comprised of 50 female adolescents with ED receiving group therapy treatment at Niño Jesús hospital in Madrid. Out of the 77 parents participating in the study, 36 were part of the experimental group and subjected to training in assertive skills (8-week sessions for about 2 hours). In addition, 41 parents formed the control group (with no assertiveness training). Before and after this training (or the same amount of time for the control group), adolescents were administered the psychometric test known as the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule (RAS).
A significant increase in RAS scores was found in adolescents whose parents were subjected to the assertiveness training. Moreover, there was a significant decrease in self-restriction scores in patients with ED after their parental assertiveness intervention. No significant changes were observed, however, in the control group.
Our results indicate that providing families with educational tools that aim at developing assertive communication may boost the level of assertiveness in adolescents and, thereby, presumably help in the prognosis of ED.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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