Graphic self-representation and body esteem in adolescents with eating disorders

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At the beginning of eating disorder there is a body image distortion that reflects patients’ ideas, cognitions and emotions related to their own body (Gila, et al., 2005). Many researchers have investigated the body satisfaction and the self and body perception in adolescence, a life period that involves many physical and psychological changes (Petersen et al., 1988; O’Dea, 2006) and that seems to be an at risk period for the emergence of dieting and eating problems (McCabe, Ricciardelli, 2005; Lieberman et al., 2006). The present work aims to investigate and compare body esteem, body representations and self perceptions in typical and atypical (eating disorders patients) samples. Typical sample comprised 45 students (15 males and 30 females), atypical sample comprised 45 adolescents (12 males and 33 females) who range in age from 11 to 17 years old. We administered the “Drawing Me” (Witkin, Dyk, Faterson, Goodenough, Karp, 1962), translated and modified by Confalonieri, Gatti, Ionio, Traficante (2006) and three self report questionnaires. The results show significant differences between typical and atypical group in body esteem (t=3,662; d.f.=88 p<.01) and body satisfaction (t(90; 88; 000=-5,637; d.f.=88; p<.01): typical adolescents in fact are more satisfied of their body image. Concerning to body representation differences, the clinical group drawings present forms and proportions less accurate (X²=6,937; d.f.=2; p.031) and lower sexual characterizations (X²=10,680; d.f.=2; p.005) than typical group. Self perception and self esteem are similar in two groups. These results confirm the interest and the possibility to study body esteem and perception through the graphic representation both in typical and atypical samples.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospite20th Biennal ISSBD Meeting
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2008


  • adolescence
  • drawing
  • self-esteem


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