Self-efficacy beliefs and eating behavior in adolescent girls at-risk for excess weight gain and binge eating disorder


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Abstract

Objective:To examine the relationship between self-related agency beliefs and observed eating behavior in adolescent girls with loss of control (LOC) eating.Method:One-hundred eleven adolescent girls (14.5 ± 1.7 years; BMI: 27.1 ± 2.6 kg/m2) were administered the General Self-Efficacy Scale and the Weight Efficacy Lifestyle Questionnaire (WEL). Adolescents then participated in a laboratory test meal.Results:Greater general and eating self-efficacy were associated with fewer episodes of LOC eating. General self-efficacy was inversely related to total intake at the meal (p < .01). Only the WEL availability subscale score, but not the other WEL subscales, was inversely related to total energy, snack, and dessert intake (ps < 0.05).Discussion:General self-related agency beliefs may be important in relation to energy consumption. Among girls susceptible to disordered eating and obesity, the domain-specific belief in one's ability to refrain from eating when food is widely available may be especially salient in determining overeating in the current food environment. Further research is therefore needed to assess the predictive validity of these beliefs on eating and weight outcomes. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013; 46:663–668)

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