Objectives: Eating disorders (ED) are associated with significant morbidity and mortality rates and are most common in young people aged between 15 and 19 years. Large representative surveys on disordered eating in youth are lacking. The main aims were to estimate the prevalence of disordered eating in a representative sample of 11–19 year olds in Northern Ireland and investigate the associations between probable eating disorder and a range of risk factors. Designs and Methods: A large nationally representative household survey was conducted, and the bivariate and multivariate associations between demographic, familial, economic and psychological risk factors and probable eating disorder were assessed. Results: A total of 16.2% (n = 211) of the sample met the SCOFF screening criteria for disordered eating. Probable eating disorder was associated with being female (OR = 2.44), having a parent with mental health problems (OR = 1.68), suffering from certain psychological problems, such as mood or anxiety disorder (OR = 2.55), social media disorder (OR = 2.95), being the victim of physical bullying (OR = 1.71) and having smoked (OR = 2.46). Conclusions: This study provides the first prevalence estimates of probable eating disorder among youth in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the study identifies unique risk factors for probable eating disorder among this representative sample.
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© 2022 The Authors. British Journal of Clinical Psychology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Psychological Society.
- eating disorders
- general population
- probable eating disorder