Eating disorders: Summary of risk factors, prevention programming, and prevention research

Melissa Pederson Mussell, Roslyn B. Binford, Jayne Fulkerson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


More than 2 million female Americans have a clinically relevant eating disorder. Although the prevalence and seriousness of this problem has gained increasing attention in recent years, relatively little is known about eating disorder prevention. This article addresses a number of issues related to prevention efforts applied to eating disorders. An overview of putative risk factors that have been identified is presented. In particular, the article emphasizes the importance of understanding the psychological and physical developmental processes during adolescence and the sociocultural context in which eating disorders develop. A summary of empirical investigations of the efficacy of eating disorder prevention programs follows, including an illustration of one of the more promising strategies that has been reported to date. The role of counseling psychologists in further refining eating disorder prevention efforts is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-796
Number of pages33
JournalCounseling Psychologist
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2000

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