The Embodiement of Troubled Lives. Body Image and Disordered Eating Among Adolescents in Residential Childcare Institutions
Children residing in care (hereafter referred to as childcare residents) are a risk¬group for emotional disturbances and behaviour problems. Based on existing knowledge of risk factors one would also expect this population to be a high-risk group for eating disorders and related body-image disorders. The objective of this study was to describe pathological eating behaviour, dysfunctional body focusing and psychological symptoms in a sample of childcare residents compared with a non-clinical sample. Sixty-one childcare residents (aged 14?21 years, mean 16.2) and a non-clinical comparison group (n= 196) completed the Eating Disorders Inventory ? Child version (EDI-C). The childcare residents also completed an extended questionnaire, including questions regarding the use of anabolic?andro-genic steroids. Our main ?ndings were high scores on EDI-C symptom scales for boys in the childcare resident group; few differences between girls in the two samples; and a high frequency of having used anabolic?androgenic steroids among boys in care. Body-image problems among boys have hitherto been given little attention. The results call for increased efforts in describing and detecting patho¬logical cognitions, emotions and behaviour concerning the body in males in general and, more speci?cally, in high-risk male groups, such as childcare residents.
Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2005, Vol 10, Issue 3
body image; childcare institutions; eating disorders; embodiment; metaphor