Thin-ideal internalization, body dissatisfaction and symptoms of eating disorders in Croatian adolescent girls

Original Research Paper


The aim of this investigation was to study the relationship between unhealthy eating habits and behaviors, perception and acceptance of societal standards regarding thinness, body dissatisfaction, and family and peer pressure to be thin. One hundred and twentythree high school girls from Rijeka (Croatia) were surveyed using Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), Sociocultural Attitudes Towards Appearance Questionnaire (SATAQ), Body Esteem Questionnaire for Adolescents and Adults (BES), and Scale of perceived pressure to be thin from family and peers. The results of path analyses showed that social pressure from family and peers, experience of weight-related teasing and criticism by family members, contributed to development of eating disturbance. The acceptance of social standards related to appearance, contributed to onset of disturbed eating habits. Weight satisfaction alone influences the development of some eating disorder symptoms, but it is also a mediator of higher body mass index (BMI) and internalization of societal appearance standards. Girls with higher BMI, who accepted societal standards of thin-ideal, perceived major social pressure to be thin through direct and persuasive comments designed to establish the importance of dieting, and probably develop eating disturbed habits, or some symptoms of anorexia (AN) or bulimia nervosa (BN).

Key words

Thin-ideal internalization awareness body dissatisfaction eating disorders symptoms adolescence 


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Copyright information

© Editrice Kurtis 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Foundation for Science, Technology and Higher EducationRijekaCroatia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of RijekaRijekaCroatia

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