Is your household like a war zone most of the time? Are people constantly bickering with each other? Family conflict may be wreaking havoc more than you think.
Recently, researchers at the University at Queensland in Australia found evidence that all that bickering and family conflict may be responsible for risky dieting patterns in teen girls.
Family Conflict and Risky Dieting Patterns in Teen Girls
According to the study, teen girls are more likely to engage in risky dieting behaviors like counting calories and skipping meals if they are experiencing family conflict at home or undergoing a period of depression.
The study looked specifically at how family conflict affects a teen’s dieting behaviors. At the time of the study in Australia, 39 percent of teen girls and 13 percent of teen boys engaged in risky dieting behaviors ranging from intermediate to extreme. Those are scary numbers considering how dangerous eating disorders can be for growing teens.
During the study, researchers surveyed more than 4ooo teen girls ranging from the ages of 11 to 14. Those surveyed answered questions revolving around specific behaviors like reducing food quantities at meals, counting calories, and skipping meals as a way to lose or control weight. These teens answered questions on a scale based around how often these behaviors occurred, ranging from never to always.
They were also sent a separate survey which was focused on family life and how often family conflict arose on a daily basis.
Throughout the survey, researchers took into account the ways in which puberty and socioeconomic status may affect the girls’ answers. Those who started puberty earlier or who were of lower socioeconomic status were more likely to diet earlier.
Impact of study
Although this study did not give a definitive conclusion about whether or not family conflict and depressive behaviors cause risky dieting patterns, it does give insight into the ways in which family conflict can influence these behaviors. It highlights the overall value of addressing family conflict in order to improve the overall well being of children.
Researchers concluded that the effect of family conflict on risky adolescent dieting patterns may be associated with depressive symptoms may help in efforts to stop risky dieting in teen girls.
Until longer term studies are conducted, these results must be treated cautiously.
blueFire Wilderness help struggling families
If your family is struggling with family conflict, consider sending your struggling teens to blueFire Wilderness for help. blueFire Wilderness is a wilderness therapy program for teens ages 11-17 struggling with emotional and behavioral issues.
For more information about blueFire Wilderness, please call 1 (844) 413-1999 today!