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Title: Family mealtimes and eating psychopathology: the role of anxiety and depression among adolescent girls and boys
Authors: White, Hannah J.
Haycraft, Emma
Meyer, Caroline
Keywords: Family mealtime frequency
Family mealtime priority
Family mealtime atmosphere
Family mealtime environment
Eating disorders
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: WHITE, H.J., HAYCRAFT, E. and MEYER, C., 2014. Family mealtimes and eating psychopathology: the role of anxiety and depression among adolescent girls and boys. Appetite, 75, pp.173-179.
Abstract: Characteristics of family mealtimes are associated with disordered eating behaviours. However, little is known about the relationships between characteristics of family mealtimes and disordered eating attitudes, or how symptoms of anxiety or depression may contribute to these relationships. This study therefore aimed to examine differences between adolescent girls and boys in the relationship between family mealtime characteristics and eating psychopathology, and to explore the influence of anxiety and depression on this relationship. Adolescents (N = 535; 286 girls and 249 boys) aged 14 to 18 years completed self-report measures of family mealtime characteristics, eating psychopathology, anxiety and depression. Reports of more frequent family mealtimes, a more positive mealtime atmosphere and a high level of priority placed on mealtimes were all associated with significantly lower levels of eating-disordered attitudes among girls only. For boys, all four mealtime measures (higher mealtime frequency, more positive mealtime atmosphere, greater priority of mealtimes and higher levels of mealtime structure) were associated with lower levels of depression. Among girls, several of the family mealtime and eating psychopathology relationships were partially or fully mediated by either anxiety or depression. While these findings require longitudinal replication, family mealtimes are likely to be important in promoting psychological well-being among both girls and boys. Families should be encouraged to think beyond the frequency of mealtimes and to foster a positive mealtime environment which may help to promote adolescent psychological wellbeing, and might even protect young females against the development of eating psychopathology.
Description: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in the journal, Appetite. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.007
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.007
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14243
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2014.01.007
ISSN: 0195-6663
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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