EVALUATION OF A PROGRAM FOR PREVENTION OF EATING DISORDERS IN ADOLESCENTS
Keywords:eating disorder prevention programs, evaluation, adolescents
AbstractThe aim of this study was to evaluate a prevention program for eating disorders (Dalle Grave & De Luca, 1999) in a female adolescent population in Serbia. This program aims to increase knowledge of eating disorders, as well as to reduce behaviors and habits associated with eating disorders. The study involved 84 female students from two high schools in Novi Sad, of which 57 students attended the program, and 37 were the control group. The average age of the students was 14.92 years, and the average body mass index (BMI) was 20.02. The prevention program lasted six weeks with sessions lasting 90 min. A set of self-assessment questionnaires was given to the experimental and control groups prior to implementation of the program, as well as 6 months after its implementation. The following instruments were applied: the Children's Eating Attitudes Test (ChEAT), the Self-Esteem Scale (SES), a questionnaire for assessing the implementation of the diet in adolescents (ADS), as well as a knowledge test about eating disorders, designed for the purpose of this research. The results indicate that six months after the implementation of the program the students in the experimental group showed a significantly higher level of knowledge than the students in the control group. The data analysis indicates a significant effect of the group, as well as the interaction between time and group in testing the level of knowledge. The authors conclude that the program for preventing eating disorders in schools is useful because it proved to be successful in increasing the level of knowledge about the risks of developing eating disorders.
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