2008, Number 6
Salud Mental 2008; 31 (6)
León HRC, Gómez-Peresmitré G, Platas AS
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ABSTRACTResearch about ED (eating disorder) has shown important advances in the last decades. We have distinguished two main ways of aproaching this topic. On the one hand there are several works in the clinical field, focused in studying the symptomatology, psychiatric taxonomy and treatment of those disorders. On the other hand, there is significant research on the epidemiological field, which is more focused towards the understanding of the phenomenon. In fact, this second approach led to the development of the preventive approach in the late 90s. This approach focuses in the population at risk and this work is framed in the preventive approach. The difference between a TCA and a risk factor is that the first one forms a syndrome, a set of symptoms (quantitatively and qualitatively) grouped as diagnostic criteria identified in the DSM-IVTR. On the other hand, risk factors are those isolated manifestations or symptoms that appear with a lesser magnitude and frequency. For example, abnormal eating behavior like following a diet to control weight or excessive concern about personal body weight. One of the most important factors that occurs before the development of an ED is following a restricted diet. Hence, the risk for people on a diet of turning into clinical cases increases eight times. Moreover, such behavior has become a normative practice, specifically in Western societies. Thus, several authors have pointed out that patients show autonomy problems previous to the disorder. Examples include interpersonal problems such as introversion, insecurity, dependency, social anxiety, lack of assertiveness, difficulty to establish relationships with the opposite gender, inefficiency feelings, failure and lack of control in the academic, working and social fields. All these are indicators of a latent discrepancy of social skills. Considering that restricted dieting represents a fundamental risk factor on the development of an ED, and under the assumption that the deficit in social skills is a predisposing factor in such disorders, the aim of this work was to determine if there is a relation between various social skills and abnormal eating behaviors (following a restricted diet or concern about weight and food) in Mexican adolescent women. We worked with a sample of N=700 women, coming from five different public middle schools mixed with X =12.81 years old and SD=0.73. The data was collected through two instruments: Health and Nourishing Questionnaire, and Pluridimensional Assertive Behavior Scale, adapted to the Mexican population. or show risky eating behavior as a consequence of social pressure towards thinness. Among the limitations of this study we can mention that the results cannot be generalized from the particular study sample. For this purpose we propose working with probabilistic samples and with different features, as well as implementing a new analysis that could show the specific social skills in which the problem is accentuated. This would contribute to search the possible causal link between the variables «social skills» and «risk eating behaviors».