Relevance of social and self-standards in eating disorders

Katarina Gunnard, Isabel Krug, Susana Jiménez-Murcia, Eva Penelo, Roser Granero, Janet Treasure, Kate Tchanturia, Andreas Karwautz, David Collier, José M. Menchõn, Fernando Fernández-Aranda

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To compare the importance given to self/other standards by eating disorder (ED) patients and healthy controls. Methods A total of 392 individuals (240 consecutively referred and 152 healthy controls) took part in this study. All subjects were diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria and were female patients. Participants completed the Family Style, Self-Expectations and Emotional related subscales of the Cross-Cultural Questionnaire. Results Three domains (namely, family standards, self-achievement and physical appearance) were associated with ED. Family standards scores discriminated for the presence of an ED (area under receiver operating characteristic curve equals 0.89), the main predictors being a higher level of importance of physical appearance (p < .001), family standards (p = .029) and conflicts with parents about physical appearance (p < .001). Higher self-standards, in physical appearance, were more relevant in bulimia nervosa and ED not otherwise specified, whereas higher family standards were more associated with anorexia nervosa. Conclusions High self-standards and social standards are common features in ED. The parallelism that ED may establish between reaching them and their life success may have a crucial role as a developing and maintaining factor in ED. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and Eating Disorders Association.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2012


  • eating disorder subtypes
  • eating disorders
  • physical appearance
  • self-achievement
  • self-esteem
  • self-standards
  • social standards


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