Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp 1246–1252 | Cite as

Disordered Eating Pathology and Body Image Among Adolescent Girls in Israel: The Role of Sense of Coherence

  • Yael LatzerEmail author
  • Sarah L. Weinberger-Litman
  • Zohar Spivak-Lavi
  • Orna Tzischinsky
Original Paper


Disordered eating pathology (DEP) represents a range of behaviors and attitudes, from negative body image to full blown eating disorders, appearing mainly in adolescent females. DEP is related to a plethora of biological and psychological factors, including various coping strategies. Sense of coherence (SOC) is a coping mechanism defined as an external and internal ability to adapt to stress and has been found to be associated with better mental health outcomes. However, SOC has not been examined in relation to DEP. Therefore, the aim of this study is to examine the relationship between SOC, DEP and body image disturbances among adolescent girls. The sample consisted of 248 Israeli girls (12–18), who completed self-reported questionnaires. SOC was negatively associated with DEP and body dissatisfaction. The overall rate of those in the high risk group for EDs was found to be higher than previously seen among samples from a similar population (22.5% vs. 19.5%), and was found to have a significantly lower levels of SOC and more negative body image than those at lower risk. Greater SOC was found to be associated with lower levels of DEP. It is suggested that strengthening SOC be incorporated into eating disorder prevention and treatment. Results emphasize the importance of SOC to well-being and mental health.


Disordered eating Adolescents Females Sense of coherence Body image 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yael Latzer
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sarah L. Weinberger-Litman
    • 3
  • Zohar Spivak-Lavi
    • 4
  • Orna Tzischinsky
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Social Work, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health SciencesUniversity of HaifaHaifaIsrael
  2. 2.Eating Disorders Clinic, Psychiatric DivisionRambam Medical CenterHaifaIsrael
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMarymount Manhattan CollegeNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of Social WorkEmek Yezreel CollegeEmek YezreelIsrael
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyEmek Yezreel CollegeEmek YezreelIsrael

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