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01-11-2014 | Original Paper | Uitgave 8/2014

Journal of Child and Family Studies 8/2014

Adolescent Girls and Their Mothers Talk About Experiences of Binge and Loss of Control Eating

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 8/2014
Auteurs:
Allison A. Palmberg, Marilyn Stern, Nichole R. Kelly, Cynthia Bulik, Faye Z. Belgrave, Stephen K. Trapp, Sara M. Hofmeier, Suzanne E. Mazzeo

Abstract

Evidence suggests that adolescents’ experience of binge eating (BE) might differ in important ways from that of adults. Moreover, although BE appears more common in African American women than other disordered eating behaviors, little is known about the influence of cultural factors on this behavior in adolescents. The current investigation used qualitative methodology to examine the perceptions of White and African American adolescent girls and their mothers regarding experiences of binge and loss of control eating. Five focus groups were completed with 19 adolescent girls (aged 13–17, 58 % African American, 41 % White) who endorsed loss of control eating behaviors. Their mothers (N = 19) also completed separate, concurrent focus groups addressing food and eating behaviors. Responses to focus group questions were analyzed using thematic qualitative analysis. Adolescents’ awareness of their eating behaviors varied greatly. Girls reported some awareness of how emotions influence their eating behaviors, and described using food to achieve autonomy. Mothers evidenced awareness of their daughters’ problematic eating behaviors, the effects of emotions on eating for both their daughters and themselves, and sociocultural factors influencing diet. Data from these focus groups can inform the development of innovative interventions for adolescent girls engaging in loss of control eating.

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