The relationship between emotional intelligence, obesity and eating disorder in children and adolescents: A systematic mapping review

Gianluca Castelnuovo, Giada Pietrabissa, Emanuele Maria Giusti, Anna Scolari, José M. Mestre, Tamara Prevendar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Eating and weight disorders often develop early in life and cause a long-standing significant health burden. Given the documented role of emotional intelligence (EI) in shaping the body image and predicting the onset of eating disorders, knowledge of the mechanisms involved in EI among youth is fundamental to designing specific interventions for screening and prevention of obesity and eating disorders (EDs). The present systematic mapping review was aimed to explore and quantify the nature and distribution of existing research investigating the impact of EI on EDs in young people. A systematic search for relevant articles was conducted using PubMed, Scopus, PsycINFO and Web of Science databases. The Appraisal tool for Cross-Sectional Studies (AXIS) was used to assess the included studies’ methodological quality. The included studies’ results were mapped based on stratification by age groups (children, preadolescents, and adolescents), population (clinical vs. non-clinical) and disordered eating outcomes. Nine studies were included, supporting the association between EI and body image dissatisfaction, ED risk and bulimic symptomatology, but not with anorexic symptoms. Research on children and clinical populations was scant. Further studies are needed to deepen the role of EI in the genesis and maintenance of EDs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Body image
  • Children
  • Clinical psychology
  • Eating disorders
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Mapping review
  • Obesity
  • Youth

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