Objective: Although eating disorders are frequently associated with depression, evidence regarding which problem predicts the other is conflicting, and little research has addressed the developmental course of this relation. This study examined longitudinal associations between depression and eating pathology across adolescence. Method: Participants were 754 girls participating in the community-based Minnesota Twin Family Study. Depressive symptoms and eating pathology were assessed at approximately ages 11, 14, and 17. Results: As expected, substantial continuity in both eating pathology and depressive symptoms occurred across time. Analysis of cross-lag paths controlling for earlier levels of symptoms indicated that overall levels of eating pathology predicted later depressive symptoms from 11 to 14 and from 14 to 17. Conclusion: Adolescent girls with high levels of eating-related pathology appear to be at risk for later depression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Eating disorders