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Beliefs and attitudes about disordered eating and the prevention of related problems in high school females : perspectives of parents and staff in a private boarding school setting
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|Title:||Beliefs and attitudes about disordered eating and the prevention of related problems in high school females : perspectives of parents and staff in a private boarding school setting|
|Authors:||Brown, Krista Erin|
|Keywords:||School-based eating disorder prevention|
|Issue Date:||May 2012|
|Publisher:||[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2012]|
|Abstract:||BACKGROUND: Eating-and weight-related disorders are a significant problem among young women and may lead to serious psychological and medical consequences. As these disorders typically emerge in adolescence, prevention efforts targeted at this age group are particularly important. Recent reviews of the literature have advocated the use of an environmental approach to eating disorder prevention; that is, involving parents and school staff in prevention efforts in order to achieve long-term changes in attitudes about eating and weight across settings. Hawaiʻi Preparatory Academy (HPA), a private boarding school on the Island of Hawaiʻi, has expressed interest in implementing an eating disorder prevention program for their high school students that can be sustained on a long-term basis; however, faculty and parent attitudes about these disorders and their prevention were unknown. OBJECTIVES: There were 2 primary aims of this research: 1) to assess eating disorder prevention needs in the school community and 2) to evaluate the impact of a pilot dissonance-based eating disorder prevention program on the broader school environment. METHODS: At baseline, parents of HPA high school students (n = 51) and HPA faculty members (n = 15) participated in a survey examining their attitudes about the prevention of eating-and weight-related disorders, beliefs about eating and weight, and views about factors that may contribute to these disorders in young women. Faculty members' perspectives on the school culture concerning eating and weight were also examined. Faculty members were re-assessed at the end of the school year in order to examine the broader impact of a pilot eating disorder prevention program at the school. RESULTS: Parents and faculty members in the present study demonstrated reasonable support for the school-based prevention of eating-and weight-related concerns. Of note, prevention efforts targeting obesity were generally rated as more important than those aimed at the prevention of eating disorders. In addition, parents and faculty members expressed an interest in school-based prevention programs targeting a range of other health and mental health concerns that may impact young people, such as suicide, sexual harassment, and bullying. Unfortunately, given the small sample of faculty for whom complete data were obtained at both study time points (n = 7), it was not possible to evaluate the perceived impact of eating disorder prevention efforts at the school. Regarding parents' and faculty members' personal attitudes toward eating and weight, some degree of anti-fat attitudes, body dissatisfaction, and restrained eating were found in the current sample. A strong majority of participants also indicated that they were engaging in weight control efforts at the time of the survey. CONCLUSIONS: Data from the proposed study indicate that a widespread approach involving faculty and parents in eating disorder prevention efforts may be of benefit. Providing education to individuals in the environment to which young people are exposed is likely to enhance the overall impact of school-based eating disorder prevention efforts.|
|Description:||M.A. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2012.|
Includes bibliographical references.
|Appears in Collections:||M.A. - Psychology|
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