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Salud Pública de México

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LUGLI-RIVERO, Zoraide  and  VIVAS, Eleonora. Eating disorders and personal behavioral control. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2001, vol.43, n.1, pp.09-16. ISSN 0036-3634.

OBJECTIVE: To explore the three components of personal behavioral control: Objective control, subjective control and control beliefs among normal women, women at risk of anorexia or bulimia and women with sub-clinical eating disorders. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In 1997, a cross-sectional study was conducted in Caracas, Venezuela. The study population consisted of 87 women: 21 with sub-clinical eating disorders, 33 at risk of having an eating disorder, and 33 normal women. Measurement instruments used were: Eating Attitude Test, Composite International Diagnostic Interview, Self-control Inventory, Inventory for Perceived Self-efficacy for Self-control, and the Locus of Control Inventory. Data analysis consisted of analysis of variance, and post hoc comparisons were done with the Student-Neuman-Keuls test. RESULTS: Women with sub-clinical eating disorders were found to have difficulty for behavior self-control, lower self-efficacy to regulate their behavior, and beliefs of control by powerful others over their behavior and its consequences. CONCLUSIONS: The results from this study are a first attempt to understand the role of the psychological variable "personal control of behavior", as a protective or risk factor for developing sub-clinical anorexia or bulimia. The English version of this paper is available at:

Keywords : personal control; anorexia nervosa; bulimia; Venezuela.

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